Marivic Azote is one of the thousands who have joined the ranks of entrepreneurs who have taken to the internet to sell their products. But in a sea of vendors selling clothes and shoes online, she stands out because her online product is decidedly different from the rest: sacks of rice.
Azote, a resident of Batong Kawayan 2 in General Trias, Cavite, started her business as a way to augment her family’s income amid the pandemic. She collects orders for sacks of rice online, buys them in bulk from her supplier, and delivers them personally to her buyers.
“Kinikita ko po sa pag-o-online po ng bigas po, tumutubo po sa isang sako ay P200, kapag may umorder sa akin ng limang sako, may tubo po ako na P1,000,” Azote said in a prerecorded video shown during the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
(From selling rice online, I make P200 for every sack of rice ordered; if there are five orders, then I make P1,000.)
A rice-dealing business, however, can have a lot of overhead costs as the grain’s price could move depending on the impact of the country’s notoriously destructive typhoon season, oil price movements affecting the cost of shipping, as well as changes in rice import policies, among other factors.
When Azote was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s Sampung Libong Pag-asa COVID-19 financial relief program on June 4, 2021, she immediately put in a large chunk of the P10,000 cash grant as capital for her online rice dealership.
“Y’ung nakuha ko po na 10k ayuda, kay Senator Alan Cayetano, hinati ko po ang P4,000, pinuhunan ko po sa bigas, P6,000 ang binayad ko po sa bahay,” Azote said.
(From the cash aid we received from Senator Alan Cayetano, I used P4,000 as capital for my rice business, while I used the remaining P6,000 for our household needs.)
Azote recognized the kind of lifeline something like Sampung Libong Pag-asa represents for her and others like her — ordinary Filipinos trying to make ends meet amid the extraordinary challenges brought by the pandemic.
“Malaking tulong sa ating mga kababayan po dito, lalong lalo na sa iba’t ibang mga lugar. Kahit papaano po naka-survive naman po ang aking pamilya,” she said.
(This is a big help for our people, especially in different parts of the country. At least my family has been able to survive despite our current situation.)