Ang hirap ng sitwasyon namin noong kasagsagan ng quarantine dahil tatlong beses sa isang linggo lamang kami nakakapaninda rito sa palengke, kakapiranggot na lamang ang kinikita namin noon dahil wala rin masyadong bumibili dahil limitado ang galaw ng tao (Our situation during the height of the quarantine was very difficult because we could only sell here in the market three times a week, we only had a meager income back then because there were not many buyers since mobility was limited),” said Geramie Jose describing her experience during the lockdowns.

Geramie is one of the small enterprise owners in Balungao, Pangasinan. During the first implementation of the community quarantine in March 2020, her livelihood can only operate every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday -causing her to almost lose her hope as her fruit shop continued to lose income.

Geramie and her sister selling fruits and other goods in their place in Balungao Market.

As a solo parent and a sole income earner in the family, Geramie looked at the other side of the situation. She started selling in demand products that do not perish immediately like vinegar, fish sauce, and other grocery goods. This helped her family’s daily needs and her shop to slowly thrive again.

With the help of DSWD Field Office 1 – Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) through Livelihood Assitance Grant (LAG), Geramie received PhP10,000 that she used to buy more fruits to sell when the quarantine loosened, and she was allowed to operate daily.

Geramie, preparing and checking her fruits to sell

Maraming maraming salamat po sa ibinigay ng DSWD na LAG na nakatulong sa pamilya ko, sana magpatuloy pa ang mga ganitong programa ng gobyerno para mas marami pa ang umasenso ang kabuhayan. Hinihiling ko rin po sa mga katulad kong nakatanggap na sana po ay bigyang halaga ang kanilang kapital na natanggap mula sa ahensiya (Thank you so much to DSWD for giving LAG that helped my family, I hope that government programs like this will continue so that more people will improve their livelihoods. I also wish beneficiaries like me will value the capital received from the agency),” said Geramie.

LAG is one of the recovery and rehabilitation programs of the government which primarily aims to aid low-income families or those coming from the informal sector whose livelihoods were affected by community quarantines. #(by: John Chris B. Zureta, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)