From a Barangay Sanitary Inspector receiving a PhP500.00 monthly honorarium, Romela de Vera is now earning an additional PhP2,000.00 to PhP3,000.00 monthly  from her sari-sari store through the provision of PhP10,000.00 start-up capital from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1.

Romela was among the 113 SLP participants in Brgy. Subusub, Rosario, La Union who underwent Skills Training on Hairdressing in 2015 but she shifted to sari-sari store management after seeing a viable business opportunity on the said enterprise. Her house is located in a congested area where the next nearest sari-sari store is about 180 meters away.

Due to the high demand, she expanded her business to general merchandise selling ready-to-wear clothes, slippers, bags, and purified drinking water. She also sells burgers and street foods earning an additional average monthly income of PhP2,000.00. Her combined income from retailing and snack vending greatly contributes to her husband’s average monthly income of PhP5,000.00 from personal driving which is utilized for the family’s daily needs and schooling of their five children. Most of the family’s savings were utilized for house expansion and acquisition of home appliances.

Talaga nga dakkel ti tulong ti SLP ta limmag-an ti panagbiagmi uray kaskasano. Saan kami nga agproblema ti gastosenmi ti inaldaw ken ti panagbasa dagiti ubbing ta adda daytoy a livelihood (SLP is truly a big help, we are somehow living in a more comfortable life now. We no longer worry about our needs because we have this profitable livelihood),” said Romela. She is now planning to expand her enterprise by adding rice to her range of merchandise.

On the other hand, 83 program participants from various barangays in Rosario, La Union underwent Skills Training on general merchandise/sari-sari store management in 2015. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)