DAGUPAN CITY – Some 100 sari-sari store owners here have received PHP3,500 financial assistance from former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Cayetano said the assistance will be an additional capital for the small entrepreneurs to restock their stores as operations were affected by the pandemic.
He said the financial help being distributed is not dole out rather an ‘economic stimulus.
“We will ask them to use PHP2,500 to buy goods to re-supply their sari-sari store and they can use PHP1,000 for their household needs, or they can use all the PHP3,500 to buy new stocks,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.
Cayetano said they are targeting an initial 50,000 to 100,000 existing sari-sari stores nationwide.
“What we are doing is to find small solutions, micro solutions, hoping that the government will pick it up. Don’t get me wrong. The Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Labor and Employment have very good programs,” he added.
Cayetano said they learned a lot of success stories, which were also shared on social media and by the mainstream media. As a result, more donors are partnering with them.
“There are two kinds of partners –one is they donate money; the other are wholesalers who sell their goods in bulk. They also sell their goods at a cheaper price to stores,” he added.
Cayetano said the concept is similar to the PTK or Presyo, Trabaho, Kita, which he launched all over the country in 2012.
He refers to the new concept for the sari-sari store owners as ‘Puhunan, Training, at Karunungan.”
There are 15 PTK groups in Pangasinan, five of them are in this city, who received financial assistance. These are groups of market vendors, tricycle drivers, farmers, and the like.
“We’ve continued that and we’re in touch with them. And I think from a high of 94-percent success rate, but it went down to 86 percent. But during the pandemic, almost all of them asked us for them to use the money to buy food items or goods and they distributed these to their members. If there was no pandemic, we would be doing our phase 3 and phase 4 with the PTK groups,” Cayetano said.
Rowena Carino of Burgos Street in Barangay II, and 48-year-old Robert Fernandez of Barangay IV said their daily income nose-dived since the start of the pandemic last year.
Fernandez said they were able to send their four children to college from their income in the sari-sari store.
Both thanked Cayetano for the additional capital which they can use in re-stocking their supplies.
Aside from the cash money, all the recipients went home with some groceries for their families’ consumption.
Meanwhile, Mayor Marc Brian Lim thanked the Cayetano couple for extending assistance to his constituents. (PNA)