“Gusto ko pong lumago ang aking sari-sari store na naumpisahan dahil dito ngayon nakikita ang mga pangunahing bilihin ng mga tao,” says Ida Hilvano from Jaro, Leyte. A woman, together with her husband, Mario, once started a bakeshop in their barangay in 2009. Both did not have the know-how in business. Her husband was a construction worker who lost his job while she was a plain housewife. 
Ms. Ida Hilvano holding her Business Improvement Plan as a result of the trainings she attended. She hope to sustain her sari-sari store through the help of DTI-NSB-LSP.

Their business started to flourish; they hired a baker and 3-5 more to help in the operations. The bakeshop was then registered in DTI and in the municipality Alvin’s Bakeshop. Their main target market is the people in the public markets as they also recognized that they sell more in the “tabo-tabo”. Tabo is a traditional way of trading and barter of goods such as root crops, vegetables, meat, poultry, kakanin, rice, clothes, and other items. 

Their top-selling product among others was the snack-bite miki bread, these are mini milky breadsticks in small packs – a healthy substitute for chips. They were known for this plus other cookies and hard bread such as roscas and galletas. They were identified by DTI as an assisted MSME and various interventions through trainings were received by Ms. Ida. She was also a graduate of the Kapatid Mentor Me Program in 2017. “Malaki po ang naitulong sa akin ng mga training and seminar ng DTI kasi natuto po ako magnegosyo ng tama at lalo na paano dumiskarte,” says Ida. The business was growing, it sustained their daily living and supported the studies of their children. Not long, this business resulted in Ida’s sari-sari store. Her sari-sari store became one of their sources as well for living. Located at home with their bakeshop, the sari-sari store has almost everything needed by the nearby households. When this pandemic happened, their bakeshop reduced their operations. Their employees stopped working, they were not allowed to sell in the market since tabo-tabo is prohibited because it draws crowds in the market. What was left of them was their sari-sari store. She then realized that this sari-sari store has every essential item that a person would need. She thought this could help them survive the pandemic.  

True enough, the sari-sari store was frequently visited by their kapitbahays. People run to their store for every little cooking ingredient and personal essentials. They got very engaged with the sari-sari store; however, they needed help in sustaining its supplies and to recover from the setback they have experienced. A much-needed capital for the goods is necessary. She envisions it to expand by being helped by government agencies that is why when she heard that she is one of the beneficiaries of the Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay- Livelihood Seeding Program to be granted with a Sari-sari Store Restarter Kit, she cannot help but be thankful that DTI once again is there to help her in the recovery of her business. ♦

Date of Release: 7 September 2020