Restrictions on mobility are heightened again due to the rise of Covid-19 cases, but Regina Sual is not as helpless this time compared to what happened the previous year.
Regina, a resident of Brgy. Hoyo in Silang, Cavite, makes rags for a living. She shared that her family earns around PhP14,000 a month, including the income of her husband. But such income though is enough to meet the daily needs and the community quarantine implemented by the national government last year became a challenge to them, especially in continuously earning money for their daily needs.
“Kung hirap na po kami noon dahil sa kakulangan sa puhunan, mas nahirapan po kami noong anim na buwang lockdown dahil nawalan po ako ng customers. Dahil po dito, napatigil po ako sa pagbabasahan. Ang asawa ko naman po, pansamantala ring napatigil sa trabaho,” Regina recalled.
These days, Regina cannot be more grateful that even if restrictions are again implemented, her family is prepared. And for Regina, this is due to their wise use of the assistance they received from the national government.
Getting help for their daily needs
During the strict community quarantine implemented last year (2020), Regina admitted using their remaining savings as well as relying on relief goods from the local government for their daily needs.
However, their savings did not last long so Regina had no choice but to use the money from her rag business to continuously provide for their needs. To their relief, their family became a beneficiary of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The SAP is a program of the national government that aimed to augment the daily needs of low-income families who were greatly affected by the community quarantine.
Regina’s family received a total of PhP 13,000 in cash, which they received in two tranches.
They used the assistance for their daily needs as well as for their utility bills. They also used a portion of the assistance to start a new business. Regina started selling coconut poles for garden plants.
“Sinamantala ko na po ang pagkakataon para po kumita dahil hindi naman po sapat ang umasa lang sa ayuda. Kailangan po kahit papaano ay tuloy-tuloy ang kita para po may magastos kami,” shared Regina.
However, by December 2020, Regina’s earnings from her coconut pole business slowed down due to the growing competition in their area. She thought of making rags again for extra income; however, she did not have the resources to start.
“Gusto ko po sanang bumalik na sa pagbabasahan kasi pwede na po ulit lumabas. Kaso, wala po akong ipapamasahe papunta sa supplier, at wala rin po akong pambili ng retaso,” shared Regina, who gets her supplies in Laguna.
Starting her business again
Last July, Regina qualified to be a beneficiary of the Livelihood Assistance Grants (LAG), another amelioration program in response to the Covid-19 pandemic of the national government implemented by the DSWD.
She received PhP 15,000, which she used to start her rag business again. She immediately bought bulks of cloth straps and materials to make two more loom boards.
“Napakalaking tulong po nito sa akin dahil mapapabilis na po ang paggawa ko ng basahan at mas marami na po akong magagawang produkto. P’wede na po akong magbenta in bulk, hindi po ‘yung pa-isa-isa lang,” shared Regina.
A month after receiving the grant, Regina said that she already produced enough rags that are ready to be sold and that she already contacted potential customers who will buy these in bulk.
With her business on track again, Regina’s dream for her family gets back on track, too.
“Gusto po naming masigurado na masusuportahan namin ang aming anak sa pag-abot sa kanyang gustong propesyon lalo na at magha-high school na s’ya,” shared Regina, who does not want her daughter to experience working at a young age or discontinuing going to school because of financial problems.
She is more positive these days that she can earn more through her business and they will be able to save more for their child’s future.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa suportang aking nakuha sa aking basahan business. Bagamat mahirap pa rin po ang sitwasyon natin ngayon, mas panatag na po ako dahil may negosyo pa po akong pagkakakitaan. Paghuhusayan ko pa po ang paggagawa at paghahanap ng customers para po makaipon po kami lalo na po at papasok na po ulit ang aming anak,” shared Regina.#