Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Friday, April 29, 2016

Feature: 4Ps helps couple, family to uplift quality of living

LEGAZPI CITY , April 28 (PIA) – Couple Fe and Rowel Villaruel dreamt of having a simple living, a life full of happiness, stability, love, and strong faith in God much as they also want to see their children have a better lives in the future by providing better education.

The Villaruel couple from Crossing, Uson, Masbate has five siblings whose ages are 18, 15, 12, 10 and 6. Life for the family was not easy.

For the past 18 years, Fe and Rowel faced many challenges and trials especially when the children started to be in school. A small vulcanizing shop which was owned by Rowel when he was still a bachelor was the family's source of their jam and bread. However the daily income of P200 could not suffice to meet the daily needs of the family.

With a starting capital of P400.00, Rowel thought of a buy and sell of interior of exterior of a bicycle. He started for one set, sold it for P600 on installment basis. The project was doing well that the couple were able to put up a small sari-sari store just in their house.

Hard Work for the Family

 "Nguni't hindi pa rin  sapat ang aming kita para sa pangaraw-araw na pangangailangan ng aming pamilya kung kaya kailangan  humanap ng ibang mapagkakakitaan." sighed Rowel. He then left the management of the vulcanizing shop to his brother.

From a meager capital of P500, Rowel started to buy and sell of fresh fish. His daily routine started from waking up early in the morning, hire a tricycle then go to Barangay Del Carmen and in Dimasalang town to buy fresh fish. Then he would go around the town to sell the fish on a reasonable current price. While Fe is left at home to take care of the household and attend to her sari-sari store. She was determined to make her small business grow. She did not use the money she earned for the family's needs. Instead she relied on the income netted from her husband's selling business.

From a gross sale of P750, it helped improve the family's economic status. If there are fishes left unsold, Fe would dry them and sell the dried produce by piece. "May naiipon na rin kami" Rowel said. To find ease in his mobility the couple then acquired a motorcycle on installment basis.

It was in 2008 when the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program was introduced in the municipality of Uson, Masbate wherein the family of Villaruel where among those who qualified for the program. With the 500 cash grant for the health and 300 for education, the family is grateful for having been included in the program.

Before the program came to their lives, Fe and Rowel were having thought that they might not be able to send all their children to school. That the younger ones will temporarily stop to give way to the older siblings to continue their studies. But because of the poverty reduction program of the government, they can now see that their lives is better than before. For the family, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a heaven sent.

Fe as a mother has expanded her role. She became a Parent Leader of 25 members. Rowel and Fe both religiously attend the Family Development Session and they also comply with the conditionalities. "The Lord is really good to us, that is why we are actively involved in church activities said Fe. He, as a member of the Lay Ministry and both are active member of the Couples for Christ. Fe conveys that assurance that she and her co-beneficiaries will remain active, responsible grantee and will serve as a role member to other members.

 Going Through

 A sudden twist in the lives of the Villaruels. In 2011, Rowel was diagnosed to have acute anemia, stage 3. He was confined in the hospital for almost a month. He could not anymore earn for a living. The vulcanizing shop and the store is the only resources left for the family. The family savings is also depleted. To sustain Rowel's medication, Fe's biological mother asked the couple to go to Davao (Fe's place of origin). It was Fe's immediate family who supported the medical needs of Rowel.

In Davao, Rowel was advised by his physician to undergo dialysis but he refused. “ Ayaw ko nang magpadialysis. Malaki pa ang gagastusin dian. Meron naman  akong mga gamot na iniinom. Ilaan na lang ang pera para sa pag-aaral ng mga anak ko dahil ayaw ko silang matigil sa pag-aaral, di bale nalang na ako’y mamatay,”Rowel claimed.

Rowel was confined in the hospital for a week then just decided to stay home. He did not want to stay idle so he thought of looking for an alternative livelihood activity. But having no capital to start a business, he just ventured on shoe repair. Since Fe was once a resident of the place and has an acquaintances, she was able to get customers.

Luckily Rowel had an income of at least P40 to 100/per week. However after a year’s stay in Davao, the couple has to rush back home because of the death of Rowel’s uncle. Having been away from his hometown for almost a year, Rowel lost his buy and sell project. What was left as their source of livelihood is the vulcanizing shop and the small sari- sari store. This posted a problem to the Villaruels. To be able to find a job, Rowel engaged himself in farm work. But the work is tedious so that he had a relapsed.

Another blessing came to the family. The DSWD in coordination with the LGU invited the residents for a meeting most of whom were Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. They were given orientation on the Sustainable Livelihood Program under the micro-finance of the DSWD. Residents were adamant. They thought that it is another false promises from the government.

During the meeting, there were heated arguments but the discussion was interesting. However, after series of orientation, 25 most of whom are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries were qualified for the micro-enterprise and finally the SLP Association was organized. But nobody from the group would not want to get the position as president so Fe volunteered herself for the position.

Then came the cash grant of P10,000. For a while, the couple just kept the cash being hesitant to invest the business in farming as what Fe have proposed but due to the health condition of Rowel, they might not able to manage it well. Then one day, Rowel met a guy whom he did not even know personally. The person Ronelio Tarucan suggested to open a furniture shop and a small display area just adjacent to their house. .Fe remarkably said that they are now receiving orders. During this year's Rodeo Festival (2016) they joined the trade fair. They had a sale of 44,000 and this is aside from orders.

During the conduct of an interview with the couple, Fe could hardly articulate her profound joy.  As she expounded on the project's development, she almost burst into tears.

Today the couple is saving some money out of their earnings from their livelihood projects." We have high ambitions for our children's future. We have to save for their children's college education. “she confides. Yes, our house is small, and is made of light materials and even prone to natural calamities but its repair for now is our least priority. We have to sustain first our business, save more for the medical needs and for our children's future.

With the government's poverty alleviation program, the education of our children is assured and our stability on our source of livelihood. " Kapag may tiyaga may nilaga" Fe exclaimed. But all these will never be attained by my family without the intercession and blessing from God. This we praise Him.

Rowel said that guts and hard work always make sense.  (MAL/EEJ-DSWD5/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211461890565/feature-4ps-helps-couple-family-to-uplift-quality-of-living#sthash.GqLi5Sif.dpuf

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