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DOLE’s Negosyo sa Kariton helps vendor’s son finish college

Cebu City, Philippines. According to Arlene, 54, she and her husband had been doing their best to provide for the family. With what little they had, it seemed quite good enough. But not when they wanted their son to finish College and earn a degree.

Arlene is a vendor selling street food at a place called “The Boulevard” in Cangmamalalag, Siquijor. She relied on passers-by taking notice of her usual display like siomai and other finger foods. Since she had no chairs and tables available that could have attracted more customers to linger a little longer at her space, she had to endure her meager income per day.

She said they toiled hard not only because they wanted to put food on the table but also because they wanted their son to finish College and eventually get a degree. But with the way her “paninda,” was doing, her son finishing college was impossible, she added.

How she wished to get some help if only it could also help them improve their lives and means of living.

“Sa una, naghandum jud ko pag-ayo nga makadawat unta ko ug hinabang gikan sa goberno. Kasagaran man gud sa among mga silingan kay gadawat ug ayuda, pero padayon gihapon ko pagpaningkamot para sa akong pamilya bisan wala pa tuod ko makawat ug tabang” (I have longed to receive any kind of assistance from the government. I noticed that most of our neighbors are recipients of some government assistance. Though I haven’t received one yet at that time, I continued with my small business in order to sustain the economic needs of my family),” she said.

One day, she recalled, a customer approached her and asked whether or not she already tried asking for livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment. “Ug didto nagsugod ang dakong kausbanan sa among pagpanginabuhi, nga maoy usa sa pinakadakong natabang para makahuman ug kolehiyo ang akong anak” (It was when our livelihood, our small business had changed for the better, which was one of the biggest factors that helped my son finish college),” she continued.

Arlene Teves is one of the recipients of the DOLE’s Negosyo sa Kariton assistance under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) thru the DOLE Siquior Field Office.

Negosyo sa Kariton dubbed as Nego-Kart, is a livelihood assistance for the ambulant vendors which includes a vending cart, raw materials, and other livelihood tools that can help beneficiaries start a small vending business or upgrade and/or diversify their products or services to gain greater number of customers.

Arlene continued that that customer was key to the better income that they are enjoying right now and added that absolutely believing that customer, she went straight to the DOLE Siquijor Field Office at that time to inquire about the DOLE’s livelihood assistance. This, she said, despite the fact that her husband was not very confident about the news they got regarding the DOLE’s livelihood program.

“Ako usab gikumbinsir ang akong mga kauban nga nagtinda sa Boulevard nga mo-apply, apan sila miingon unhi lang kay musonod ug mutuo lang mi kung mahatagan ka na” (I also convinced my fellow vendors to apply, but all of them resented, mocked me and told me instead that they would only believe it once I am granted with livelihood assistance),” she said further.

She was once working as an overseas domestic helper and due to their dire need for money especially that their son was to begin going to College, she hinted to her husband and tried convincing him that she’d go back to Hong Kong to work as a DH. “Igo ra gayud ang among kita sa among inadlaw nga panginabuhian. Nananghid ko sa akong bana nga mobalik nalang sa Hong Kong para mag DH, pero siya wala misugot sa rason nga ako idaran na” (Our income from food vending surely would not be enough. So I tried to convince him that I should go back to Hong Kong as a DH but he refused saying I am old already for the job).”

The following day, she received a call from the DOLE that her livelihood assistance was scheduled to be released in Cangmunag, San Juan, Siquijor. All traces of doubt and worries for their son’s future gone, Arlene beamed with joy. What used to be her dream became a reality as she received tools and equipment for her vending business such as twenty (20) chairs and six (6) tables.

“Baling lipaya gayud nako pagdawat sa 20 nga mga bangko ug unom ka mga lamesa” (I was so happy to receive 20 chairs and the 6 tables from DOLE),” she exclaimed.

Arlene and her husband noticed a dramatic improvement in the number of customers that would visit their space because they’re already comfortable eating using the new chairs and tables. Before the assistance came, they used to borrow two tables and four chairs. She believed it was the reason why would-be customers would only check what’s on display and go because there was no room for them to sit and eat comfortably.

“Human sa pag-abot sa mga bangko ug lamesa, nagplano mi sa akong bana nga mopalit ug Cart kai tungod dako ang among matigum tungod kay gaabang man lang kami sa among Cart ug tag 500 matag bulan. Pero kai tungod lagi kai gapaeskuyla man mi kutob lang jud kami ug plano” (After we received the tables and chairs, we immediately planned to buy a cart since we just rented the one we were using for P500.00 a month. But it stayed just a plan since we still had to prioritize the schooling of our son),” she said.

But another blessing came, she excitedly said and it was the second time when the DOLE granted her another livelihood assistance.

“Ug ang tanang miyagayaga nako sauna nakabantay ug miingon nga maayo pa ug nituo diay ta. Ang uban usab niingon nga sayang kay naa pud unta tay Nego-Kart karon. Ang uban niingon nga tinuod diay and hinabang gikan sa DOLE ug dili diay to scam ang tanan” (All of my fellow vendors, who used to mock me then, now took notice of the assistance I received. They regretted not believing it and said that the livelihood program of DOLE is not a scam after all),” added Arlene.

She assured the DOLE that she will continue taking care of the assistance that was entrusted her as it is a major reason why they were able to sustain their son’s education.

Beaming with pride, she said that her son is now in Manila applying and waiting for an employment abroad as a seafarer.

“Salamat kaayo ug dako DOLE nga inyong gihimong matinuod ang akong mga damgo: ang damgo nga makapahuman ug kolehiyo sa akong anak ug ang magkinaugalingon sa akong gamit sa akong pagpaninda” (Thank you so much DOLE for making my dreams come true – my dream for my son to obtain a degree and to have my own equipment to use for my small business),” she finally said.




For more information on this report, you may contact (032) 234-3317 or; (032) 266-7424 or; (035) 226-2778 / (035) 422-9741/; (035) 480-9244 or; (038) 501-0277 and (038) 411-0806 or


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