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PIA Press Release
2009/06/17

Feature: Housewives find success thru self-employment

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

Zamboanga City (17 June) -- She used to be a typical plain housewife. Her daily activity begins and ends in the four corners of their home. The routinary household chores are somewhat beginning to tire her.

She thought, with her husband as the only provider in the family, how they can manage to cope up with the rising prices of commodities, the educational needs of her three children, and all other basic needs of her family, not to mention the financial crunch that beset the rest of the globe.

With these in mind, Mrs Virginia Farole told herself that she must do something to alleviate the plight of her family.

Like answered prayer, It was then that she learned of the Tindahan Natin program of the government.

"Natatandaan ko pa noon, may social worker from DSWD, nag house to house ini-encourage kami at nagtatanong kung willing kami maging Tindahan Natin Operator. Kaya inisip ko, ito na siguro sagot sa problema ko" (I remember that time, there was a social worker from DSWD visiting one house to the other, encouraging and asking us if we are willing to apply as Tindahan Natin Operator') she recalled.

Now, Mrs Virginia Farole, resident of Barangay Aplaya, Manicahan, this city is an active operator of Tindahan Natin, a poverty alleviation project of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The used to be so shy and low self esteemed woman is now an empowered mom with so much eagerness and passion in helping others specially her community members.

Virginia's life has totally changed. She now spends her time serving her community thru Tindahan Natin where she sells NFA rice at P18.00 per kilo serving 460 constituent-beneficiaries in her area. Noodles are also being sold in her Tindahan Natin outlet.

She said she wakes up early in the morning everyday so as she could cater to the needs of her beneficiaries. Her used to be "boring & routinary" day is now full of meaning and challenges.

"Noon kasi, sa bahay lang ako,.. boring… ngayon alert na ako sa pag tulong " she exclaims. (I used to stay home, it was boring. Now I am alert in helping others)

"Nang nalaman ko sa DSWD na may ganitong proyekto ang gobyerno, di ako nag atubiling mag apply bilang Tindahan Natin operator sa aming area" (when I learned from DSWD of this project, I immediately applied as Tindahan Natin operator in our area), she said.

"Talagang service to beneficiaries ang orientation sa aming mga TNO ng DSWD, dapat may willingness to serve sa mga tao at hindi yung puro kita lang ang iisipin" (DSWD's orientation to us is service to others, willingness to serve the people and not just concentrate plainly on earnings) Virginia stressed.

"Malakas ang impact ng Tindahan Natin sa buhay ko, sa character ko. Talagang nagbago ang pag uugali ko. Natutu akong tumulong at magsilbi sa kapwa ko. (TNO has great impact in my life, in my character. It has changed my attitude. I learned how to help and serve others)

"Natutunan ko nang mahalin ang mga beneficiaries ng Tindahan Natin. Kaya ako nag titiyaga sa pag wi-withdraw ng NFA rice para maibenta sa kanila sa mas murang halaga kumpara sa commercial rice." (I have grown to love my beneficiaries that is why I am patient in withdrawing NFA rice to sell it to them at an affordable price)

Virginia said her Tindahan Natin outlet is allotted 20 sack/bags of Vietnam rice per week. She buys it for P800.00 per bag from the NFA and sells it at P18.00 in retail to her 460 beneficiaries.

"Di lang pananaw ko sa buhay ang nagbago, pati sa pinansyal ay malaking tulong din ang Tindahan Natin. " (Tindahan Natin has not only changed my outlook in life, it has also helped us in the financial aspect)

"Ang profit ko sa Tindahan Natin ay sini-share ko sa Madrasa (Islamic school). Dalawang Madrasa titser ang nabibigyan ko ng allowance buwan-buwan galing sa Tindahan Natin profit ko. Nag ha-house to house visit din ako paminsan-minsan sa mga widow at sa self-employed and unemployed na kababaihan dito sa area namin para mamigay ng NFA rice. Lahat ng ito Ay nagagawa ko dahil sa kinikita ko sa Tindahan Natin"

(I share my Tindahan Natin profit to the Madrasa. Because of Tindahan Natin, I am able to provide monthly allowances to two Madrasa teachers. I sometimes do house-to-house visit to the widow, unemployed and self-employed women in our area and distribute NFA rice to them. All these I can do because of Tindahan Natin), Virgie tearfully said.

Like Virginia, Mrs. Imelda Manalo is also an active Tindahan Natin operator. Her Tindahan Natin outlet, to date, is serving more than 300 beneficiaries in her area (purok 1 to 8), barangay Lunzuran.

"Dahil sa Tindahan Natin, nadagdagan ang kita nang aking pamilya. Natustusan namin ng maayos ang pag aaral ng aming mga anak at nakakabili na rin ako ngayon ng mga bagay-bagay para sa sarili ko. "(Tindahan Natin has augmented my family's income. We were able to appropriately spend for our children's education and I am now able to buy stuff for myself) Imelda shared.

"Tumutulong din ako sa aming community. Pag may meeting ang women's organization o may mga laborer na gumagawa ng daan sa aming barangay, nagbibigay ako sa kanila ng pang meryenda galing sa aking Tindahan Natin income." (I also help my community. am able to share a little for the women's org during their meeting. I provide them with snacks..same thing also with the laborers when they are working on a road project in our barangay. I sponsor their snacks. All these are taken from my Tindanah Natin income.

Tindahan Natin improves lives

Virginia and Imelda, both strong-willed women, are just two of the total Eighty Five (85) Tindahan Natin Operators in Zamboanga City who's living conditions did not only improve but were also molded to become service and result oriented.

"Nagpapasalamat ako sa Presidente at pumasok sa isip nya na magkaroon ng ganitong programa. Malaking tulong ito sa aming mahihirap" (I thank the president for coming up with a program such as this. This is of great help to us poor") Virginia said.

"Dahil sa programang ito, naramdaman ko ang sincerity mula sa Pangulo hanggang sa kanyang mga ahensya. Napatunayan nila na tunay nga silang public servants." (Because of this program, I felt the sincerity from the President down to her agencies. They were able to prove that they are truly public servants) she added.

"Dahil sa Programang ito, may tiwala at naniniwala kame sa ating gobyerno dahil nakita namin kung pano magtrabaho ang kanyang mga ahensya gaya ng DSWD at NFA na talagang ipinaparating nila ang mga benepisyo ng programa sa mga tamang beneficiaries.. ang mga mahihirap" (Because of this program, we trust and believe in our government because we were able to witness how her agencies like DSWD and NFA worked hard to deliver the benefits to the rightful beneficiaries—the poor) Imelda proudly articulated.

Sa Tindahan Natin, ang mga poorest-of-the poor ay makakatikim ng masarap at magandang kalidad ng bigas sa murang halaga". (In the Tindahan Natin outlet, the poorest of the poor may enjoy good quality of rice at an affordable price) Imelda concluded.

Understanding Tindahan Natin Project

Tindahan Natin (TN) Project is a government initiative for food security, livelihood and job employment.

It provides low-priced but good quality rice and noodles thru a store jointly identified and endorsed by the DSWD, Provincial/City/, Municipal Social Welfare and Dev't Office of the LGUs in coordination with the barangays.

TN outlets are licensed and accredited by NFA.

Tindahan Natin project aims to ensure that the poor families get access to low priced but good quality rice and noodles; to create livelihood and job opportunities for the community and to ensure availability/supply of rice at any given time. (JPA - PIA ZC) [top]

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