Local government officials in Pampanga, Bulacan, and Bataan praised former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s Sari-Saring Pag-asa program, saying it has given thousands of sari-sari owners the opportunity to rise up from the challenges brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dahil po sa pandemya po na nangyayari ngayon sa ating buong bansa, sa ating buong mundo, ito po ay malaking tulong na maibibigay sa kanila. They could start over again,” Vice Mayor Jaime “Jimmy” Lazatin of San Fernando, Pampanga said in a recorded message during the program’s livestream on Saturday, October 9, 2021.
(Because of the pandemic that is happening right now in the country and in our world, this is a big help to our people. They could start over again.)
Noli Soriano from the Office of Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman said many sari-sari store owners in the province have been heavily affected by the pandemic.
“Alam niyo, itong ating mga recipients na ito, itong ating mga sari-sari store owners na ito na napili natin, marami sa kanila ang hindi makapagbukas, tuluyan nang naubusan ng mga pinagkakakitaan dahil nawalan ng trabaho ang asawa o kasama sa bahay dahil dito sa pandemyang ating nilalabanan,” he said during the distribution of cash aid in Dinalupihan, Bataan.
(You know, many of the sari-sari store owners that we selected still could not open their stores. They lost a lot of income because their spouses or partners lost their jobs because of the pandemic.)
Soriano said the program can improve the lives of sari-sari store owners across the country and urged the public to promote compassion and hope in the middle of the current global health crisis.
“Ang mga programang ganito ang makakapagbigay at makakapagpataas ng antas ng pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayang Pilipino. Sa panahon ng pandemya, dapat tayo ay may malasakit, may pagmamahal, may suporta, sapagkat ang pag-asa na ibinibigay ninyo ay pag-asa sa lalong madaling panahon, pag-asa para sa hinaharap, pag-asa para sa ating mga kababayang Pilipino,” he said.
(Programs like this will increase the standard of living of our fellow Filipinos. In this pandemic, we should have compassion, love, and support because the kind of hope that this program gives is hope for the present, hope for the future, and hope for every Filipino.)
Barangay chairman Christian April Cruz of Sulucan, Bocaue, Bulacan praised Cayetano’s efforts to extend assistance to far-flung areas.
“Bagama’t napakalayo po namin ay naaabot po ng inyong tulong. Ngayon pong panahon ng pandemya, napakalaking bagay po ng inyong Sari-Saring Pag-Asa para makapagsimula po muli ang bawat pamilyang naghihirap ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” he said.
(Even though our place is far, you still reached out to us. In the current pandemic, your Sari-Saring Pag-Asa program can help pandemic-stricken families in starting over again.)
The Sari-saring Pag-asa program is an initiative that aims to provide financial assistance, training, and mentorship to sari-sari store owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 100 sari-sari store owners received financial assistance from the program’s episode on Saturday. To date, more than 4,100 beneficiaries across the country have benefitted from the program.