A displaced school worker’s story of hope

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Joyce Therese Estopito is a single parent with one child from Pasay City. Before the pandemic, she worked as a school cleaner and housekeeper, earning somewhere below the minimum wage. After losing her job at the school, she opened up a small sari-sari store. By selling snacks and food condiments, she would earn P200 to P300 a day.

Over 400,000 private school employees have either lost their job, have had their pay reduced, or are not receiving a salary at all due to the “no work, no pay” scheme.

But Estopito’s life changed on June 22, 2021 when she was selected as a beneficiary of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa of former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso.

Limang libo po ay pinamuhunan ko po sa tindahan, at y’ung natirang limang libo po ay pinambayad ko po sa bahay, tubig, at ilaw. Doon po sa pinuhunan kong P5,000, bale po kumikita po ako ngayon ng P500 to P700 kada araw depende po sa mga taong namimili,” she said.

(I invested P5,000 in the store, and the remaining P5,000 I used to pay rent, water, and electricity. Out of the P5,000 I invested, I am now earning P500 to P700 per day depending on the number of customers.)

Despite the announcement that Metro Manila would be under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20, Estopito was not worried because she knew she could still earn enough for her family. With her determination to make ends meet for her and her son, she was able to make the most out of the 10K Ayuda.

Watch her story:

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