Sari-Saring Pag-asa: Cayetano relaunches financial aid program sari-sari store owners

Calling sari-sari stores one of the “best training centers” for budding business owners, former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday relaunched the Sari-Sari Store Community, this time calling it “Sari-Saring Pag-Asa,” a financial assistance program for sari-sari store owners.

During the program’s pilot episode on his official Facebook page on August 31, 2021, Cayetano said the cash aid that sari-sari store owners will receive from the Sari-Saring Pag-Asa initiative can be used to support both their daily needs and their small businesses.

“That’s why we’re giving you P3,500, para yung P1,000 (ay) magamit niyo sa mga immediate needs niyo. Then, yung P2,500, magamit niyno para i-replenish, i-restock ang (inyong) sari-sari store,” he said.

(That’s why we’re giving you P3,500. You can use P1,000 for your immediate needs. You can use the remaining P2,500 to replenish or restock your sari-sari stores.)

“Ang sari-sari store ay isa sa mga best training centers sa pagnenegosyo,” he added.

(The sari-sari store is one of the best training centers for doing business.)

Sari-Saring Pag-asa takes off from the Taguig-Pateros (TaPat) Sari-Store Program created by Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano to provide financial assistance and livelihood training for sari-sari store owners in Taguig and Pateros.

Through the program, sari-sari store owners in Taguig and Pateros received around P2,500-P3,500 each.

“Ang ginawa po ni Lani, bumili ng P2,500 worth of goods at nakita po namin na hindi man punong-puno ang sari-sari store mo, kahit papaano, may mabebenta ka na,” the former Speaker said.

(Lani bought P2,500 worth of goods and we realized that while it may not be enough to fill a sari-sari store, one will still have something to sell.)

The local initiative was later expanded into the Sari-Sari Store Community, a national program that sought to create a community of sharing and mutual aid among sari-sari store owners from different parts of the country.

“We made it a community kasi ang community po, nagdadamayan,” Cayetano said.

(We made it a community because people help each other when they are gathered as a community.)

Prior to Tuesday’s episode, the Sari-Sari Store Community program had already reached more than 1,700 sari-sari store owners from Baguio City, Dagupan City, Olongapo City, the towns of Guiguinto of Calumpit in Bulacan, and Caloocan City.

As of August 31, 2021, the Cayetanos have extended aid to a total of 2,018 sari-sari store owners from different parts of the country.

The Sari-Saring Pag-Asa program will complement their weekly Sampung Libong Pag-Asa initiative, which took off from the advocacy of the 10K Ayuda Bill.

The Cayetanos and their allies filed the 10K Ayuda Bill on February 1, 2021 with the aim of expanding the government’s economic stimulus program. The proposed measure seeks to distribute P10,000 each among the country’s poorest households. ###