P3’s First Loan Beneficiary in NCR is a Shoe Maker

“Sapatero yan, wag nyo pautangin—di naman yan makakabayad.” [He’s a shoemaker, don’t loan him any money—he wouldn’t afford to pay it.]

These were the words that marked 68 years-old Rolando “Tatay Oly” Santos’s memory as he dealt with the hardships of running his small shoe business, a trade he learned at the age of 11. “Di ako nakapagtapos ng elementary. Ang iniisip ko lang: ang aking kaalaman sa pagsasapatos, ito-todo ko. Ito lang ang alam ko.”  

For a man who had trouble filling out application forms, Tatay Oly knew his business was his last hope. Desperate, Tatay Oly was sucked into borrowing up to P50,000 from loan sharks who would turn up in his door every single day. The usual routine was to borrow P10,00, another P20,000, and another P30,000 from three different “Bombay 5-6” which he had to pay in intervals to avoid getting broke. The loan must be payed after two months, so that tatay Oly can borrow money again. “Sa araw araw ang babayaran ko P8,000, pag di ako nakabayad ng P8,000—magugutom ang pamilya ko,” Tatay Oly said in tears.

Tatay Oly tearfully recounting loan shark experience

Tatay Oly gets emotional as he shares about the need to borrow money from loan sharks just to keep making shoes.

The old man has been using his old wooden shoe molds for 10 years now, making 1-3 pairs of shoe each day—5 if he’s lucky. He kept making hand-crafted shoes in his small cluttered workshop until one day somebody finally noticed his work— none other than President Duterte himself.

 “Ang Filipino-made, sa craftsmanship number one,” President Duterte said as he praised the custom-made brogue-style boots Tatay Oly gifted him which he wore in his meeting with United States Secretary of State John Kerry.

Tatay Oly at home

“Hindi ako makapaniwala,” Tatay Oly said, surprised that the president wore one of his creations. The old “sapatero” who was sucked into paying “5-6” moneylenders was now paying courtesy to the President he used to see only in TV. Inside the palace, everyone was calling him the “Marikina’s Pride.”

One Step Forward through P3

June 10, 2017— Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez sets foot in Marikina to personally visit Tatay Oly and fulfil President Duterte’s promise to the old shoemaker. “Bago po kayo pumunta dito tinitgnan ko po kayo sa cellphone eh,” Tatay Oly told the Trade Chief between stifled laughter. Inside tatay Oly’s small workshop, Sec. Lopez saw the hardship of the old cobbler, assuring him of a working capital assistance from President Duterte’s Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or the P3 micro-financing program. “Mabubuhay ang Marikina Shoe Industry, kasama na po kayo,” Sec. Lopez promised.

Sec Ramon Lopez with Tatay Oly

DTI Sec Lopez personally visited Tatay Oly in his small workshop where his family also lives.  


Tatay Oly with Sec Ramon Lopez and other officials
From left: PFFI Director Roger Py, Design Center of the Philippines Exec. Dir.  Maria Rita Matute, DTI-IDTPG Assistant Secretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, DTI-NCR Regional Director Anacleto C. Blanco, Jr., DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez, and Marikina’s Pride Tatay Rolando “Oly” Santos.

Six days later, June 16, 2017—DTI-NCRO led by Regional Director Anacleto C. Blanco, Jr. led the launching of P3 program in NCR by awarding the first P3 assistance to Marikina’s Pride, Rolando ‘Tatay Oly’ Santos. DTI’s micro-financing arm Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) and its P3 accredited partner Radiowealth Finance Company Inc. collaborated to assist Tatay Oly in his P3 application, which was a fast transaction that required minimal documentation requirements.

Radiowealth Finance Company discusses terms of P3 to Tatay Oly

Radiowealth Finance Company discusses the terms of the P3 program to Tatay Oly along with Sb Corp— DTI’s micro-financing arm

The P3 program provide microentrepreneurs like Tatay Oly an alternative source of financing and a chance to expand their business. Instead of borrowing from 5-6 loan sharks that lend money at high interests, Tatay Oly can now loan with only 2.5% interest per month which he can easily pay on a weekly or daily basis in any of the 200 branches and business centers of Radiowealth Finance Company Inc. nationwide.


Tatay Oly receives P3 assistance from Radiowealth

From left: Tatay Oly receives his P3 assistance from Radiowealth Regional Manager Ogie Ignacio, Branch Manager Ronnel De Castro, District Manager Obet Dones Regional Sales Manager Herbert Agotilla, SB Corp Sector Head Melvin E. Abanto, CITE Marikina OIC Ferdinand O. Angeles, DTI-NCR Regional Director Anacleto C. Blanco, Jr., PFFI President Roger Py, Marikina LGU Representative Ma. Lourdes Dela Paz

The shoemaker expressed his sincerest thanks, sharing how the grant will help him expand his small shoe workshop where his family also lives. Tatay Oly also plans to buy new supplies and materials, and even possibly open a new shop.

Truly, P3’s first NCR beneficiary is not only a shoemaker—but a Marikina’s Pride.