Life always has its struggles. It always has its ups and downs. For Loida Hernandez, a native of Bulalacao, they may be having their place at the top.
A mother of four children, Loida, 32, lives in Brgy. Poblacion, Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro and is married to Josue, 35, for 13 years. Among Loida’s siblings who also live close by, her family is considered to have nothing as attested by her neighbour. Because of the couple’s natural will to survive, they have tried every means possible to be able to provide for their family’s needs.
To be able to provide for their needs, Loida put up a small sari-sari store in front of their house but it is not enough. In 2008, it was a blessed year for their family when Loida became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Loida recalls that the program helped her children a lot especially Krista Jane, her eldest. She joins extracurricular activities but cxbecause they have nothing much, Loida often tells her that she cannot join because they cannot afford the fare. Kristine Jane will opt to walk instead. With the Pantawid Pamilya, Kristine Jane doesn’t have to worry anymore of the expenses in school. “Importante sa kanila ang makapasok. Umiiyak ang mga bata pag hindi pinapapasok kasi walang pambaon,” said Loida.
Being a part of Pantawid Pamilya, the Hernandez was able to provide the needs of their children in school and health. They were also able to provide electricity in their home and buy small appliances for their children’s convenience.
From the stories of Loida and as testified by the municipal link, she exhibits a great deal in savings. “Yan si Ate Loida, marunong talaga sa pera. Marunong siya magpaikot ng pera. Pag may panggastos pa sila sa mga kailangan ng mga anak, ginagamit muna niya ang sa cash grant kung saan siya pwedeng kumita,” said Irene, municipal link of Bulalacao.
The Hernandez has various means of income. However, those were only seasonal. Aside from their sari-sari store, they also plant bananas, corn, and camote in an unused and unclaimed land near their house. Since it takes time before they can harvest, her husband used their motorcycle as a mean to earn a living through what is known a pampasada. When someone needs a ride to far flung barangays or areas, Josue drives for them. They have paid partial payment for their motorcycle.
It seems that the family is doing and earning a lot but they believe it is not enough. They have to save since they are on their fifth and last year as beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya. Loida thought that she can do more in order to secure her family’s future.
Loida became a beneficiary of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). SLP is a community-based program aimed at improving the socio-economic status of its participants wherein beneficiaries are thought to mobilize their savings, engage in microenterprise activities, access capital resources, or receive institutional development support. Beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya are qualified to be part of the SLP as part of the convergence strategy (Pantawid Pamilya, Kalahi-CIDSS, SLP) to help the people uplift their lives. The beneficiaries made the proposals themselves as to what is the livelihood they think are best for them. In the case of Loida, she was granted a capital for her buy and sell business. She chose this kind of business because she already knows the ins and outs of it.
Loida received her grant of 10,000 pesos last March 2013 and it is payable within a year. She bought bananas and coconut with two-thirds of the money that she received and the remaining were allotted for their sari-sari store. Since there is someone who surely buys her kalakal (the products that she buys and sells at a higher price), Loida is not afraid to invest big in her business for this will surely give her big earnings as well. A good quality that Loida has is that she monitors their expenses and earnings. In this way, she can guarantee that they can pay back the money lent to them.
“Malaking bagay ang Pantawid at pati narin yung sa SLP, nakakapagnegosyo, tulong-tulong kaming mag-asawa para ma-maintain ang aming pinagkakakitaan,” told Loida. She and her husband work hard for their family. With love and will to survive, their dream of a better life is not impossible. And with programs and services intended for people like them who dreams to have more, together, they were able to do more. And surely, together, they can achieve more.