Liza Bay, 43, a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, proudly shows their feeds supply business, which she co-owns with 20 other program participants of DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program.

When a small feeds supply business started, 21 women began seeing a different future for their families. However, the story does not end with the 21 of them.

Liza Bay, 43 years old, the treasurer of the Mapayapang Poblacion 2 Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Association, shares how their humble feeds supply business is not only helping their members but as well as other poor families in their community.

Liza, a resident of Brgy. Poblacion 2 in Agdangan, Quezon Province, is a beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program since 2009. This program is directed to qualified poor families with children zero to 18 years old in support to their needs on health and education.

As a strategy to improve the living condition of poor families like Liza’s, the DSWD prioritizes beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya in the SLP, which provides skills training to program-participants towards micro-enterprise development or gainful employment.

When Liza’s group, all members are Pantawid Pamilya mother-beneficiaries, became beneficiaries of the SLP, the group decided to put up a feeds supply business not only because they project it is a good opportunity to earn but also an opportunity to help other Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in their municipality.

Business for their families

According to Pantawid Pamilya Municipal Link Darold Jopson, who is assigned in Agdangan, the putting up of businesses of the beneficiaries of the program undergoes thorough assessment and planning to ensure that businesses will thrive.

“Gina-guide namin sila sa pagpili ng mga nararapat na negosyo ayon sa kanilang kakayahan at sa pangangailangan sa lugar. Dahil din sa networks ng Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries dito sa Agdangan, natutulungan na rin sila na magkaroon ng siguradong customers para sa kanilang negosyo,” Jopson shared.

In August 2016, they opened their feed supply business. The SLP has awarded the association a total of PhP210,000, which they used to rent for their stall and initial products.

“Naisip po namin na magtinda ng feeds bilang negosyo dahil ito ang malakas dito sa amin. Marami ang nagnenegosyo ng pag-aalaga ng baboy kaya marami ang maaaring maging customers,” said Liza, who was manning the store alone in the afternoon.

Liza’s main source of income is through being a dealer of beauty products. She admits that with five children, it is difficult to provide for the needs of the children especially that her husband earns only occasionally through farming.

Further, Liza shares that the rest of the members of the association has similar circumstances as her. Most of them are laundrywomen, house helpers or stay-at-home mothers.

“Malaking tulong sa amin ang pagkakaroon ng negosyo. Kaming mga dating nasa bahay lang o konti ang kinikita ay may pagkakataon nang kumita. Marami rin sa amin ang bumili na ng sariling hayop para mag-alaga. Dito na kami sa aming tindahan bumibili,” she shared.

With this setup, members do not only help find another income opportunity for their families but they also help their business grow by the day.

Helping other poor families

Liza also gladly shares that majority of their customers are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries from other barangays in their municipality.

“Marami po talagang mga benepisyaryo ang nagnenegosyo ng pag-aalaga ng baboy kaya dito na namin sila hinihikayat na mamili,” she said.

Liza and the rest of the group make sure that their prices are cheaper than their competitors in town, especially that they know that their customers are also financially struggling like them.

“Sa ganitong paraan, nakakatulong rin kami sa aming kapwa mahihirap habang tinutulungan nila kaming palaguin ang aming negosyo,” said Liza.

Mothers learning responsibility

More than the value of the group business, members of the association learned taking responsibilities seriously.

“Lahat kami ay may responsibilidad dito sa negosyo. Ang bawat isang miyembro ay nagbibigay ng half day na volunteer work kada linggo para magbantay ng tindahan,” Liza said.

She, as the treasurer of the group, is assigned in the afternoon daily and serves as a cashier.

For all of them, the success of their business is in every member’s shoulders. Together, they work hard to make the daily operation of the store smooth and plan for expansions in the future.

However, for Liza and the rest of the members of the Mapayapang Poblacion 2 SLP Association, one responsibility is most treasured. It is the responsibility to help other poor families to move towards improving their lives.

For this, they are continuously inspired by every beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilya program who stands up and makes a way to change their lives.#