Press Releases
From despair to hope, tracing the success of three Isabela province starter kit beneficiaries

To protect the identity of former child laborers mentioned in this article, their names were changed.

For Benjamin Corpuz, Gloria Canceran and Novelyn Corpuz, the daily struggles of living without a permanent source of income have been an all too familiar occurrence in their lives, moving from one scarce break to the other when fleeting opportunities do arise.

With poverty holding them down and preventing them from really taking off, the three tapped the assistance of one of their children to help with their work-related endeavors, thus affecting their respective education.

For Benjamin, his son John worked with him in a farm, Novelyn’s daughter Pia also did the same and Gloria’s son Julius worked as a corn harvester.

The three parents were profiled by the DOLE-Isabela Field Office (IFO) last 2019 and were awarded with their respective starter kits last year.

For Benjamin, it was welding machine and compressor for paint jobs. Since then, he was already able to complete his commissioned work ahead of time. He also managed to accept more projects and now employs four (4) helpers to cope with the volume of work. The income may be seasonal but the profit is higher than before since the cost of labor is lower. His child is no longer working at the farm and is now solely focused on his studies. The child’s three (3) siblings are also presently studying.

Gloria meanwhile was awarded a starter kit for snack vending. Since then, she has managed to turn his starter kit into a mini talipapa. In a given day, she is able to earn a net income of around P500.00 from selling halo-halo, local delicacies and vegetables. The starter kit was also awarded at a time when they needed the assistance the most. Her husband was only recently diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease and could no longer provide for the family. Her child no longer works as a corn harvester and is now currently enrolled. He also often helps her mother in their mini store in between modules.

Novelyn was also awarded with snack vending kits in December 2020. Being a solo-parent and the single provider of the needs of her family, hope was restored when the kit was awarded to her. Since then, she went from working as a utility earning a monthly income of about P2,400.00 to a snack vendor earning an average of P9,000.00 monthly. She was also able to expand her business recently with different kinds of beverages and she often goes around her block selling some of her products. Novelyn’s daughter Pia’s days as an out-of-school youth has also ended she is currently enrolled in school and no longer working at a farm to make ends meet.

The three of them express utmost gratitude for the assistance provided to them and also vowed to continue expanding their business with the hope of providing for a better future for their kids.

Masaya kami at natulungan kami [DOLE] ngunit ito ay umpisa pa lamang at nasa aming mga kamay ang pag-asenso namin sa tulong ng starter kits na ibinigay ng ahensya,” Novelyn says. ###

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