The Office of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday assisted hundreds of market vendors in Manila to avail of the Labor department’s work-for-aid program as well as medical assistance from the Department of Health (DOH).
This is part of Cayetano’s push to support microentrepreneurs amid high inflation across much of the country by gathering the members of livelihood associations and sectoral groups that have benefited from his long-running Presyo-Trabaho-Kita/Kaayusan (PTK) program, and bridging them with government aid programs that can help them sustain their microenterprises and family businesses.
Representatives of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) held an orientation for members of two PTK communities in Manila about the agency’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program in coordination with the city government of Manila on March 31, 2023.
A total of 431 market vendors – all members of PTK groups from Manila’s Pritil and Central markets – benefited from the TUPAD orientation. They will be employed by the Manila City Market Administration Office in the month of April.
Aside from the TUPAD orientation, Cayetano’s Medical Assistance Desk also helped a number of market vendors and cleaners gain access to aid provided by the Department of Health’s Medical Assistance to Indigent Patients (MAIP) Program.
New Pritil Market Credit Cooperative (NPMCC) Manager Alma Sandoval thanked Cayetano for being a constant supporter of the market vendors in Pritil since his first run as senator more than a decade ago.
“Ever since po, the first time niya pong tumakbo ng senator before, siya lang po ang bumaba sa Pritil running for senator, at tumatak po sa amin y’un. And after that po, naglunsad po siya ng mga different programs po sa ating palengke tulad ng PTK,” Sandoval recalled.
“Marami pong naka-avail nung programa po na ‘y’un ni Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and hanggang ngayon po meron pa rin po ‘yan sa ating Pritil Market, y’ung sa kooperatiba po natin,” she added.
Tondo food vendor Jocelyn Samson, who was present at the Pritil Market vendors orientation, said she will use her earnings from TUPAD as additional capital for her business.
“Kapag nakuha ko na y’ung sweldo ko, gagamitin ko po siya na pangpuhunan sa pagtitinda namin, ‘tsaka para sa mga anak ko, at y’ung iba ay itatabi ko para mapaikot ko pa ito at mas mapalago ko pa ang aking negosyo,” she said.
“Kahit saan naman po, hindi mapupulot lang y’ung sahod na ganoon, ‘tsaka malaki po talagang tulong yan para sa amin ng mga anak ko,” she added.
Meanwhile, at the Central Market vendors orientation later that day, Sta. Cruz residents Josephine Bantunial and Rosario Pines said they were grateful for the opportunity to earn extra income at a time when many families are struggling to cope with high inflation.
“Pangdagdag baon po ito ng mga anak ko, pambili ng pagkain at bigas. Y’ung iba, pandagdag bayad sa kuryente, tubig at bahay. Tapos pandagdag puhunan din sa aking sari-sari store,” Bantunial said.
“Malaki ang epekto ng TUPAD para sa tulad kong wala nang asawa at mag-isang nag-aalaga ng mga apo ko, malaking bagay na natanggap ako sa TUPAD,” Pines added.
Central Market Development Cooperative (CMDCO) manager Sheryl Base thanked Senators Alan and Pia Cayetano for bringing the PTK program to their cooperative members.
“Kami po ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa programa po ni Senator Alan at Senator Pia Cayetano na PTK dahil lubos na makakatulong po ito sa karamihan ng mga miyembro ng CMDCO. Sa panahon ngayon, sa taas ng presyo ng bilihin, napakaimportante na madagdagan y’ung konting kita natin para mapagkasya y’ung budget natin,” Base said.
“Bukod po noong pandemya na binigyan po natin ng konting tulong y’ung aming mga miyembro, meron din po tayong naging programang PTK na higit sa isang daan po ang beneficiary namin, kaya Senator Alan at Senator Pia, huwag po kayong magsawang tulungan ang CMDCO,” she added.
The Presyo-Trabaho-Kita/Kaayusan (PTK) program is an initiative of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano which aims to strengthen micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) throughout the country by bringing opportunities and government support closer to microentrepreneurs.
One of the initiative’s main thrusts is to help cooperatives thrive by giving seed capital which the groups can use to lend to members or invest in profit-generating activities.
At a meeting with PTK groups in Davao City last February, Cayetano said as the program helps more and more people, communities are continually being built.
“Sa lahat ng asosasyon at indibidwal na natulungan namin, at sa lahat ng mga leader na nakikiisa kami, ang gusto namin ay makitang successful kayo,” he said.