As part of their long-standing effort to empower micro and small business in the provinces, Senators Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano this week provided additional capital to hundreds of sari-sari store owners in Camarines Norte under Senator Alan’s flagship program ‘Sari-saring Pag-asa’ (SSP).
Made possible through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the two senators’ offices distributed P3,500 in cash aid each to 300 sari-sari store owners from all over the province.
The SSP is the brainchild of Senator Alan which he started in 2021 in response to the sudden socio-economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that had forced businesses, both big and small, to close down.
The handover of assistance was held in Labo, Camarines Norte and was facilitated by Camarines Norte 1st District Rep. Josefina Tallado together with other local government officials.
Recalling how she herself was raised by her mother who was a sari-sari store owner, Tallado urged her constituents to make good use of the assistance provided to them.
“Y’ung tatanggapin po natin ngayon, gamitin natin sa pangkabuhayan natin, pandagdag sa inyong paninda para [tuloy-tuloy] ang inyong tindahan,” Tallado told the recipients.
“Gamitin natin nang tama ang tinatanggap nating tulong mula sa gobyerno. Kami po ay instrumento lamang para makatulong sa inyo,” she added.
In response, the recipients vowed to use the cash aid as capital for their micro-business.
One of them was Derica Periera from the municipality of Santa Elena, Camarines Norte.
“Isa po kami sa pinakamalalayong lugar subalit kami po ay naabot ng programang ito. Kami po ay buong pusong nagpapasalamat kina Senator Alan Peter Cayetano at Senator Pia Cayetano,” she said.
Tallado expressed her optimism that the Cayetanos will continue their coordination with the local government of Camarines Norte.
“Sabi nga po ni Senator Alan at Senator Pia, simula pa lang po ito ng patuloy na pagbibigay sa atin ng mga programang ganito,” she said.###