Obstacles are stepping stones for people to either stumble from, or reach new heights- and Marieta, a 28 year-old mother of four wonderful children, chose the latter.

Marieta G. Asco started under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) beneficiary in 2015, in partnership with the Apayao State College. Marieta earned a degree of Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, thus driving her to become an intern under the DOLE Government Internship Program at the Catub Elementary School and Paddaoan Elementary School.  She worked as a Teacher Aide and Administrative Assistant, while continually preparing for her Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

While she was engaged as an intern, she saved as much as she can from her GIP stipend. She used the salary to expand her business her load-retailing business with her husband. Their business further expanded due during the height of the pandemic as the demand for ‘e-load’ soared. The load-retailing business had a huge social and safety impact in their barangay, as it lessened the residents’ need to go out travel far just to buy phone load.

As she continued in her loading business, Marieta noticed the visible lack of pork meat in their local market. She decided to venture into the hog-raising industry with three piglets. Unfortunately, the African Swine Fever (ASF) swept across the country in the latter months of 2021 forcing Marieta to dispose of the piglets earlier than planned.

To Marieta, these ‘boulders’ are not roadblocks, but pedestals that pressed her to strive and persevere. Even as she finished her internship program, she started with a small ‘sari-sari’ retail store in their house. She used her last two months worth of salary as GIP intern and additional funds from her e-loading business as capital for the initial goods and items to sell.

She initially sold food and drinks, frozen goods, household and hygiene products, and other dry goods. From the income of their humble retail store,  she was able to purchase kitchen utensils and improve their kitchen area.

Marieta’s husband encouraged and helped in their small business, even while she continued to prepare for the LET examinations. They are happy to have a source of income and have time to care for their children and help in their modules, resulting in getting better grades.

Gamitin sana nila sa tamang paraan ‘yong sahod nila para may remembrance at magandang patutunguhan ang kanilang sahod bilang GIP (Hopefully they use their wage appropriately, in order to have a remembrance and good purpose as GIPs),” Ms. Asco said. “Kahit maliit man na negosyo and kanilang maipundar at least may patutunguhan ang kanilang sahod para sa ganon may progreso (Even if they start with a small business, as long as their salary is used purposefully in order to have progress),” she added.


end//daryll ponard with initial report from DOLE-Apayao Satellite Office
photo credit: DOLE-Apayao Satellite Office