After almost a year of streaming and giving renewed hope to Filipinos, former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s Sari-Saring Pag-asa took a breather on Monday, February 7, in keeping with the guidelines of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as the campaign period starts.
The program made its temporary farewell with an episode that looked back on its varied milestones.
“Noong nagka-pandemic, medyo nag-pause lahat, ang daming bayarin. Parang na-bankrupt [ang aming tindahan],” said Babylyn Canilang, a sari-sari store owner and Sari-Saring Pag-asa beneficiary from Parañaque City.
(When the pandemic happened, my business had to stop because we have a lot of liabilities to pay. It felt like our store had gone bankrupt.)
However, the Sari-saring Pag-asa initiative helped her business regain its momentum.
“Doon, inumpisahan ko na naman ang sari-sari store. Kaya, hinati ko ang P3,500 sa barbekyuhan pati sa sari-sari store. Gumaan-gaan kasi lahat ng mga bayarin, nababayaran na. Hindi tulad noon na kapos talaga,” Canilang said.
(I re-established my sari-sari store. I divided the P3,500 aid for the capital of our barbecue business and sari-sari store business. Our expenses have gotten lighter because we’re able to pay off our liabilities.)
Conchita Casin, another small business owner and beneficiary, shared the same sentiments.
“Yung natanggap ko po na tulong, ito po dinagdag ko po sa paninda,” she said.
(I used the financial aid to buy more goods that I can sell.)
“Simula po nang makatanggap ako ng P3,500, nakakapag-ipon na po ako ng kahit papaano. Nakakapagtabi na kami ng P200-300 sa isang araw,” she added.
(Ever since I received the P3,500, I was able to save at least P200-P300 per day.)
On August 31,2021, Cayetano launched the Sari-Saring Pag-asa initiative, which provides P3,500 financial aid for sari-sari stores and small business owners to increase their capital and restock their inventory.
“That’s why we thought of having its program. It’s P3,500, talagang pantawid lang siya. Pero at least, ma-jump start niyo ulit y’ung inyong mga negosyo (It’s really supposed to help Filipinos cover their daily expenses. But at least, you have a jump start for your businesses.)” the former House Speaker explained during its last episode on February 7, 2022.
For Cayetano, the Sari-Saring Pag-asa program allows Filipinos to become financially independent through additional capital for their own businesses.
“The more na self-sufficient kayo, the more na hindi niyo na kailangan umasa sa iba,” he said.
(The more self-sufficient you are, the less you have to depend on others.)
As of February 2, 2022, the total number of Sari-Saring Pag-asa recipients reached almost 20,000 sari-sari store owners.
The program served as the counterpart of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program, which distributed P10,000 worth of financial aid to Filipinos in need.
The former House Speaker’s mid-pandemic flagship programs ended on Monday in adherence to the Comelec’s electoral campaign guidelines. The former House Speaker is running for a Senate seat in the May elections.#####