Mr. Rafael Fernandez, as one of DTI's PPG beneficiaries.

Mr. Rafael Fernandez of Brgy. Bulihan, Famy, Laguna, has been a rice farmer for many years, working hard to provide for his family, especially when his wife Marivic had to quit working to attend to one of their children who underwent dialysis due to kidney disease. Their family struggled to meet their everyday needs and medical expenses, particularly during the pandemic. There will come a time when they don’t even have money to buy food. It’s a good thing that they have a small garden where they can harvest vegetables to make ends meet. However, everything took a sudden turn for the worst when their daughter passed away in February 2022.

During those challenging times, Mr. Fernandez was endorsed by the Local Government Unit of Famy, Laguna, as one of the potential beneficiaries of the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG), a livelihood seeding program of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Mr. Fernandez was qualified for the program following an interview and evaluation by the DTI – Laguna Provincial Office. He was able to participate the DTI-PPG entrepreneurial training, where he gained knowledge about the stages to starting a business, the characteristics of an entrepreneur, and how to create a streamlined action plan.

At the end of 2022, Mr. Fernandez received a Sari-Sari Store Package amounting to Php8,000.00 during the DTI-PPG Awarding of Livelihood Kits. He and his supportive wife established their sari-sari store business in front of their house. They were successful in selling the grocery items and rice that they were given. After that, they used the proceeds from their sales to purchase items in high demand in their neighborhood. In just a few months, they gained loyal customers who support their small business despite the fact that there are many competitors in their area since they sell items at low prices. Their daily sales now vary from Php1,000.00 to Php1,500.00.

Looking back on their past situation, they now consider themselves blessed to have a sustainable livelihood that can satisfy their daily needs, given that Mr. Fernandez is no longer able to perform rice farming because of his illness. He and his wife are also grateful that their modest business and one of their working children enable them to meet their other children’s educational expenses.

In June 2023, one of their children will graduate from college with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree. As soon as their daughter graduates, they are looking forward to improving their sari-sari store and adding more inventory. They were also a

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for seven years, but now that they have a stable source of income, they have graduated from the program and are no longer regarded as poor. One important lesson that they learned is that before they spend money on something, they will first use it as additional capital to earn more.

Mr. and Mrs. Fernandez conveyed their sincere appreciation to DTI – Laguna Provincial Office for providing them with assistance. They made a commitment to utilize it wisely and to work hard to expand their business because they see it as a blessing to their family. In order to gain more knowledge, they are also eager to take part in further business trainings and seminars.

The Fernandez family demonstrated that it is true that you will reap decent or even better results if you sow something good. Whatever challenges life brings, one must stay strong and move forward. Everything will turn out well if we have a strong will and determination. ♦

Date of Release: 26 June 2023