A recovering hotel worker from El Nido, Palawan will now be able start his own small business through the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program of former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies from the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso.
Dreamboy Dalonon, who has been working as a hotel receptionist for seven years, said he will use the P10,000 in cash aid from Sampung Libong Pag-asa to put up his own sari-sari store or start a small business.
“Plano ko po, gusto ko po magpagawa ng tindahan o konting negosyo na masisimula po,” Dalonon said.
(My plan is to put up a store or start a small business of my own.)
As a hotel worker, Dalonon felt the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as the entire tourism and hospitality industry took a massive toll and tourists were told to stay home.
For Dalonon and his peers as well as the establishments that employed them, this was a financial disaster.
Dalonon was forced by necessity to leave his industry and go home to his hometown after he was let go from his job. The partial reopening of local tourism in the last months is a hope for him to regain stable employment and financial stability.
“Last month lang po, tinawagan kami ni Madam dahil po may guests ng ilang piraso na dumating,” Dalonon said.
(It was only last month when I was called by the owner of the resort to come back because there were a few tourists who booked a room.)
However, the sporadic bookings mean he is on-call when needed, but not regularly in work.
“Talagang mahina po talaga at saka sobrang bihira lang, hindi katulad dati. Dati po, makikita niyo po sa kalsada, ang dami po talaga mga guest. Halos ‘pag gabi lumabas pa, sobrang dami,” Dalonon said.
(The industry is really very weak and it is rare to have bookings, not like before. Before, you would look at the street and it was full of guests. When you went out at night, there were so many people.)
Through the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program, Cayetano and his allies hope to assist recovering workers like Dalonon by providing them with P10,000 in cash aid that can help them provide for their immediate needs or build their own small business.
On Wednesday, hotel and hospitality workers from El Nido, Palawan were selected to be part of the program.###