The office of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano partnered with former First District of Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to help more than a thousand Bulakenyo sari-sari store owners with their daily needs and enable them to expand their small businesses through the Sari-saring Pag-Asa Program (SSP).
From June 1 to 2, 2023, Cayetano’s team gave assistance to more than 1,200 sari-sari store owners from Districts 1, 5, and 6 in Bulacan. These events were done in coordination with local government officials and in partnership with DSWD through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) Program.
Under the SSP, which is Cayeteno’s flagship program for budding business owners, the store owners received assistance and a booklet explaining the program and giving tips on how they can grow their business.
More than 50 sari-sari store owners with medical conditions were also helped through the medical assistance desks that had been set up in the venue. They were provided assistance for their hospital bills, medicines, laboratory, operation, and diagnostic procedures.
Maria Cristina Perez, one of the store owners from Hagonoy, Bulacan, thanked God for the help she received from Senators Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano to expand her livelihood.
“Ako ay nagpapasalamat sa ating Panginoon sa biyaya na kanyang ipinagkaloob sa amin. Pangalawa po kina Senator Alan Peter at Pia Cayetano, at kay Kuya Jonathan Alvarado, maraming salamat po at kayo ay patuloy na ginagamit bilang instrumento sa pagtulong sa ibang tao,” Perez said during the assistance distribution on June 1.
Hernane Castro, a store owner and beneficiary from Santa Maria, Bulacan who was present on day 2 of the assistance giving, said it will help jumpstart his struggling small business.
“Sa panahon kasi ngayon, minsan napapaikot pa ang kita [mula sa tindahan] pero minsan hindi. Kaya ang nangyayari, yung ipon ko ay napapasok ko rin sa tindahan,” Castro said.
“Kaya lubos po akong nagpapasalamat kay Senator Alan Peter at Pia Cayetano, at kay Cong. Kuya Jonathan Alvarado. Maraming salamat po dahil sa programang ito, marami na po kayo matutulungan,” he said.
Before the handover of assistance, former Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado also the senators for always looking after Bulakenyos especially since the assistance will not be a one-time thing.
“Ang kagandahan po nitong Sari-saring Pag-asa Program na dala sa atin nina Senator Alan at Senator Pia ay hindi ito one-time big time na tulong, kundi pang matagalan po itong tulong na ito,” Sy-Alvarado told the beneficiaries.
“Hindi po kayo binigyan ngayon ay tapos na. Dahil kapag may maitutulong sa inyo, tulad ng seminar at paghahanap ng hanapbuhay, ay maiimbitahan kayo agad at mabibigyan pa kayo ng payo. Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tulong ninyo Senators Alan at Pia Cayetano,” he added.