The Office of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano partnered with various Laguna local government officials and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 4 to help hundreds of sari-sari store owners establish and expand their small businesses through the Sari-saring Pag-Asa Program (SSP).
The events were held from March 7 to 8, 2023 in the Cities of Calamba and Biñan and were led by Cayetano’s office in coordination with DSWD through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis (AICS) Program.
Under the SSP, which is Cayeteno’s flagship program for budding business owners, the store owners received help in the form of P3,500 in cash and a booklet explaining the program and giving tips on how they can grow their business.
A staunch advocate of sustainable livelihoods, Cayetano said it is “not enough to give people fish — we have to teach them how to fish.”
Santa Rosa City Lone District Rep. Danilo Fernandez, who led the March 7 event in Calamba, thanked Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Pia Cayetano for always extending support to their province.
“Talagang tinutulungan po tayo nina Senador Alan at Pia para mabigyan ang ating mga kababayan, hindi lamang sa Laguna, kundi sa buong Calabarzon area. Ito po ay ating ipinagmamalaki at ipinagpapasalamat sa kanila. Tayo ay naging instrumento lamang po upang ang ating mga leaders at mga kababayan dito sa Laguna ay mabigyan natin ng tulong,” Fernandez said.
The Calamba handover saw at least 200 sari-sari store owners given assistance from the areas of Bay, Victoria, Alaminos, San Pablo City, Cabuyao City, Los Baños, Calamba City, and Calauan in the province of Laguna.
The City of Biñan event meanwhile provided assistance to at least 150 sari-sari store owners.
One of the beneficiaries, Maria Delia Romero, said she considers the assistance a “good surprise” for the city’s sari-sari store owners.
“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa Diyos sa pagkakataong ito na di inaasahang biyaya ay bigla po naming nakuha. Nagpapasalamat din po ako kay Congresswoman Len Alonte-Naguiat, at Senators Alan Peter Cayetano at Pia Cayetano,” Romero said during the March 8 payout at the Biñan’s congressional District Office in Barangay Poblacion.
Aniceta Sumagui Mangilin, another Biñanense sari-sari store owner, expressed her thanks to God for the SSP program as it is a big help to her family.
“Unang una po, nagpapasalamat tayo sa Panginoon Diyos na sa araw na ito ay hindi po namin inaasahan na mabibigyan kami ng biyaya na galing kay Senator Alan Peter Cayetano at Senator Pia Cayetano, Congresswoman Len, Mayor Arman (Dimaguila), and Vice Mayor Gel. Ito po ay malaking tulong sa aming pamilya. God bless!” Mangilin said.
Another beneficiary, Ruby Amoranto, was also grateful for the seed capital given to them to further expand their small business.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa aming mahal na congresswoman na si Cong. Len Alonte at kay Senator Pia at Alan Peter Cayetano sa dagdag puhunan. God bless you po!” she said.
The distributions of assistance were done with the help of Santa Rosa City Lone District Rep. Danilo Fernandez, Biñan City Lone District Rep. Marlyn “Len” B. Alonte-Naguiat, Biñan City Vice Mayor Angelo “Gel” B. Alonte, and Biñan City Administrator Cherry Alonte-Nuñez.