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Former factory worker crunches success in Chicharon business thanks to the DOLE’s livelihood aide
CITY OF MALOLOS – Former factory worker Lorena Vito is now reaping fruits from her “chicharon” business thanks to the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLEs) livelihood assistance.
 
“Lorie,” as fondly called by her family and friends who resides in Brgy. Tabe, Guiguinto town, expressed her gratefulness for being a DOLE livelihood recipient in 2013.
 
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa DOLE dahil sa napakalaking biyayang ginawa nila sa amin. Mula sa isang maliit na pagawaan ng chicharon, sa tulong po ninyo, lalo pa po namen itong napalago,” Lorie said.
 
DOLE Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione reported the good news of Lorie’s success to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III at the wake of this month’s observance of National Women’s Month.
 
“We are happy to be a part of Lorie’s boosted success as a woman entrepreneur through the help of our DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kit. It is just fitting that we share with you her incredible milestone of ‘woman empowerment’ coinciding to this year’s National Women’s Month theme: We make change work for women,” Dione said.
 
Though Lorie, a mother of 2, now enjoys success in her chicharon business, also had her shares of challenges and struggles in life in supporting her family.
 
“Ako po ay dating factory worker. Sa kasawiang palad, ako po ay na-retrench sa aking pinagtratrabauhan at kailangang maghanap ng panibagong pagkakakitaan. Sinbukan po naming magkakapatid na magtayo ng machine shop kung saan kami po ng aking asawa ang nangasiwa nito,” Lorie said, adding:
 
“Ngunit hindi ganun kadali magpalakad ng machine shop dahil malaking kapital ang kakailanganin nito. Nangutang po kami sa aming mga kaibigan para may puhunan kami sa mga proyektong nakukuha namin. Nung una, nababayaran pa po namin sila, subalit kinalaunan, unti unti po kaming nabaon sa utang at kinailangan pang isanla ang aming lupa upang mabayaran sila, at sa huli ay napilitan po kaming mag-sara.”
 
Despite the hurdles she went through in business, Lorie never gave up and saw opportunity in pork rind-processing or more commonly known as chicharon-making.
 
While mastering the craft of this popular Filipino delicacy, Lorie had learned about the DOLE’s Kabuhayan Starter Kit through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of Guiguinto.
 
“Noong nagsara po yung shop namin, naghanap po kami ng ibang pagkakakitaan at pinasukan po namin ang paggawa ng chicharon. Tamang tama naman na nalaman namin sa PESO Guiguinto na mayroon palang programang tulong pangkabuhayan ang DOLE, yung Kabuhayan Starter Kit” Lorie said, adding:
 
“Noong July 31, 2013, ako po ay pinalad at nakasama sa iba pang mga beneficiaries na nakatanggap ng DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kit.”
 
After receiving her starter kit amounting to P5,000.00 in form of raw materials and various cooking utensils for her chicharon-making, Lorie saw her business growing.
 
“Noong una, nakakagawa po kami ng 20 kilos na chicharon at ibinebenta po namin ito sa iba’t ibang merkado. Noong dumating ang tulong pangkabuhayan ng DOLE, unti-unting lumaki ang aming naggagawa mula 50 kiliograms ay umabot na po ito ng 200 kilograms kada linggo,” Lorie said.
 
With more orders pouring in, Lorie was able to hire additional help and is currently employing 6 workers, including a person with disability (PWD).
 
Estelita Mendoza, a 46-year old widow and mother of 3, is now able to attend to the needs of her family because Lorie’s chicharon business.
 
“Ako po ay dating mananahi na mahina lang po ang kinikita. Sa awa naman po ng Diyos, ay mas natutustusan ko na po ang pangangailangan ng aking mga anak noong namasukan po ako kay Ate Lorie,” Estelita said.
 
Through the DOLE’s intervention, Lorie was able to develop her chicharon business and transform it to a sustainable source of income for her family and employees.
 
“Dahil sa aming negosyo sa chicharon, mas madali na po sa amin ang magkaroon ng pagkukuhanan sa pangangailangan ng aking pamilya gayun din sa mga pangangailangan ng aming mga anak sa kanilang pag-aaral. Katunayan niyan, napagtapos na namin ang aming panganay na ngayon ay namamasukan na at may sariling naring pamilya, samantalang mag-gra-graduate narin ang aming bunso ngayong Marso. Bukod po rito, nabayaran narin po namin ang aming lupang isinanla sa banko,” Lorie said.
 
Lorie’s son Henson, who saw how his parents, particularly his mother, juggle between work and raising a family, expressed his thanks to her and the DOLE.
 
“Naranasan po namin dati yung paggawa ng promissory note sa school dahil sa hirap ng buhay. Noong dumating po ang tulong ng DOLE, nakapag-supply po kami ng mas maraming produkto sa aming mga customers. Never po pumasok sa isip ko na makakapasok po ako sa private school na university. Isa ang DOLE sa nakatulong sa akin para ako po ay makakapag-graduate this March. Kung wala po ang DOLE, wala po ako sa kinatatayuan ko ngayon,” Herson said, adding:
 
“Nay, thank you so much po. Bilang isang anak, sobrang laking karangalan ang maging anak ninyo. Alam ko po yung hirap ninyo sa trabaho at kung paano niyo kami pinag-taguyod ni kuya. Salamat at makakapag-graduate narin ako para tulungan ko po kayo. Sa DOLE, maraming maraming salamat uli po sa inyo, kundi sa inyo, hindi po lalago yung produkto namin na ngayon ay malaking tulong sa aming pamilya at sa mga empleyadong umaasa po sa amin.”  
 
At present, “Lorie’s Special Chicharon,” a trade name Lorie is using for her business is already making P6,000.00 worth of orders a day, enough to provide employment opportunities for others.
 
Aside from chicharon, Lorie was also able to produce and sell affordable but delicious and sought-after barbeque to her fellow villagers in Brgy. Tabe.
 
Lorie imparted to housewives and mothers that they should not rely on their husbands’ livelihood alone but also find ways to earn additional income by engaging into small business.
 

 

END/Jerry Borja with reporting from Ferdinand Capati 
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2017-03-22
ANA C. DIONE
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