CALABARZON sari-sari store owners take the road to recovery

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Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s Sari-Saring Pag-asa program on Thursday, September 30, reached out to around 45 beneficiaries from Cabuyao City in Laguna, General Mariano Alvarez in Cavite, and Ibaan in Batangas.

An additional 30 beneficiaries from the program’s Facebook comments section were also announced during the episode.

Malaking bagay po itong Sari-saring Pag-asa. Dito sa Cabuyao, ang napakahalaga, makapagsimula muli,” Cabuyao City Mayor Rommel Gecolea said.

(The Sari-Saring Pag-asa program is a big help. Here in Cabuyao, what’s important is that we are given the chance to start over again.)

To date, more than 3,800 sari-sari store owners have received financial assistance through the Sari-Saring Pag-asa program.

Mary Joy Dimayuga, a beneficiary from Brgy. Bigas, Cabuyao, Laguna, recalled how she used the cash assistance to sell balut and frozen food, both of which increased her income.

Dati po kasi, dito lang kami umaasa sa sari-sari store namin. Noong nabigyan po kami ng konting tulong ni Cayetano, nadagdagan po yung puhunan namin, naibili ko po ng balut, ng frozen foods. Sapat na rin po yung kinikita naming ngayon, nadagdagan po,” Dimayuga said.

(Before, we were relying solely on our sari-sari store for income. When we received assistance from Cayetano, our capital was increased and I was able to purchase balut and frozen food. Now, we’re earning enough because we’re earning more.)

Cayetano and his allies launched the Sari-Saring Pag-asa program this year to distribute P3,500 each to neighborhood store owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The program aims to give sari-sari stores the ability to restock their inventories and enable more money to circulate among households and local communities.

The initiative also provides beneficiaries with financial management tools, such as training sessions with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and special logbooks designed for program beneficiaries.

The Sari-saring Pag-asa is a sister initiative of Cayetano’s Sampung Libong Pag-asa program, an offspring of the former Speaker’s advocacy for the 10K Ayuda Bill.

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