Monday’s episode of Sampung Libong Pag-asa featured the story of Maria Theresa Salle, whose family had been experiencing hard times even before the pandemic.
“Bago magkaroon ng COVID-19, nasunugan kami. Itong buong compound namin, February 2018, nasunugan kami. Kaya simula pa lang noon hirap na talaga kami sa buhay at nag-decide ako maghanap ng trabaho,” she explained in a prerecorded video shown on October 18, 2021.
(We lost our house in a fire in February 2018. This whole compound of ours burned down. From then on we had a really hard life so I decided to look for a job.)
Salle found work as a housekeeper in a company in Cainta, Rizal while her husband worked as a construction worker. Aside from their combined incomes, the family also depended on their small sari-sari store for their needs.
When the pandemic hit, they both lost their jobs, and the P150-200 that the store was earning was not enough to keep their family afloat.
Their lives took a turn for the better in June 2021 when their family was selected as a beneficiary of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program.
The couple took the opportunity to develop a stable source of income for their family and used P8,000 of the cash aid as capital for their business and the remaining P2,000 for bills and groceries.
“Noong wala pa y’ung 10K Ayuda, sobrang tipid kami sa pagkain lalo na wala kaming trabaho mag asawa. Ngayon kahit papaano medyo nadadagdagan y’ung pang ulam, dagdag din pangbayad ng pangangailangan ng mga anak ko,” Salle said.
(Before we received the P10,000 assistance we had to scrimp on food, especially since my husband and I didn’t have work. Now, we have more food and we can afford to pay for our children’s needs.)
“Sir Alan Cayetano, kung noon po ito lang po ang aking tindahan, ngayon po simula po n’ung natanggap ko y’ung Sampung Libong Ayuda, dumami na po ang aking paninda,” Salle said.
(Sir Alan Cayetano, if before our store was understocked, now after receiving the P10,000 cash assistance my store has expanded and I have more items to sell.)
“Umakyat na siya ng P400-P500 sa isang araw, may inaasahan na kami na panggastos sa aming mga pangangailangan. Mga pangangailangan ng mga anak ko sa kanilang pag-aaral, kahit papaano, may na i-tatabi na rin akong ipon,” she added.
(We are now earning P400-P500 a day, which we now rely on for our necessities. This is what we also rely on for our children’s education, and we are able to save up.)
‘There are always success stories’
The October 18 episode, which was livestreamed on former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s Facebook page, saw 30 garbage collectors from Cebu, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental given P10,000 each in cash aid.
An additional 20 Facebook Live commenters were selected as beneficiaries, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 12,467 since the program was launched in May 2021.
In a separate live video earlier the same evening, Cayetano thanked the different local government and community leaders who helped to make the program possible.
“Dati naman po na medyo challenged ang atin pong garbage collectors, especially po kung hindi kumpleto y’ung equipment o kung arawan ang kanilang sweldo, at lalo po ngayon na panahon ng pandemic,” he said.
(It has always been challenging for our garbage collectors, especially when they lack equipment and are paid on a daily basis. It is much more difficult now in the time of the pandemic.)
“But despite all that, there are always success stories,” he added.