(Feature) Auroran ‘sorbetero’ reaps fruits from the DOLE’s Negokart Project

September 16, 2015 6:07 am 

MANILA, Sept. 15 — Ice cream vendor Adrian Apolonio is now a budding entrepreneur, thanks to the Department of Labor and Employment’s Negosyo sa Kariton (Negokart) Project.

Apolonio, known as “Mang Ian” to his fellow residents in Maria Aurora town in Aurora, had his own share of struggles as an ambulant vendor.

From doing odd jobs with meager pay, he ventured into ice cream-making and tirelessly roamed around town every day to sell his produce in an ice cream cart.

“Noong una, sobrang hirap, dahil kailangang magtiis maglakad at magtulak ng kariton sa ilalim ng init ng araw o kaya naman lusubin ang malakas na ulan at hangin para lang makapagbenta at may mai-uwing pagkain at tulong sa gastusin sa bahay,” Mang Ian shared.

Back then, Mang Ian only made less than PhP 200 a day which was not enough to feed his family and send his four kids to school.

“Ang kinikita ko po dati sa pagiging sorbetero ay di sapat para suportahan ang pangangailangan ng aking pamilya, lalo na po ang pagpapa-aral sa aking mga anak sapagkat ako po’y nakiki-boundary lamang po sa isang ice cream cart na nire-rentahan ko lang po,” Mang Ian said.

Despite the hardship, Mang Ian was always motivated to work for his family, especially when he sees the delight of his customers who continuously patronize his ice cream.

“Kahit mahirap po ang ganitong klaseng hanapbuhay, ayos lang din po dahil ang pagbili ng ice cream sa daan ay nakagawian na nating mga Pilipino. Ako naman po ay natutuwa at nagagalak kapag nakikita ko po ang saya sa aking mga customer, bata man o matanda, tuwing sila ay bumibili ng aking ice cream,” Mang Ian shared.

For his hard work and efforts, Mang Ian was fortunate to be qualified and selected as one of the beneficiaries of the DOLE’s Negokart Project in Aurora.

The Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) in the province, in coordination with the DOLE-Aurora Field Office, conducted a screening process in the selection of beneficiaries.

Earlier this year, Mang Ian was one of 30 lucky ambulant vendors who received Negokarts which were awarded by the DOLE-Aurora Field Office and Provincial Government of Aurora.

The Negokarts, according to DOLE-Aurora Field Office head Engr. Pedro Fernando Jr., amounted to PhP 450,000 and sourced from the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP).

“We wanted to help our fellow Aurorans, particularly those from the marginalized sector who work day and night just to make both ends meet. Our beneficiaries are ambulant vendors from the towns of Casiguran, San Luis, Maria Aurora, and Baler,” Fernando explained.

Fernando also said that the Negokarts are cart-food businesses like fish-ball vending, ice cream, buko pie, fish and vegetables, and other Filipino merienda.

“Our Negokarts are either in the form of tri-bikes or push carts, depending on the nature of small business that our beneficiaries ventured into. Our partners from the local government units, for their part, provided their counterpart assistance in form of entrepreneurship development trainings (EDTs),” Fernando said.

During the Negokarts awarding, Fernando challenged Mang Ian and the rest of the beneficiaries to make their Negokarts into formidable small businesses.

“Ang DOLE, kasama ang mga katuwang natin sa Panlalawigang Pamahalaan ng Aurora at iba pang mga lokal na pamahalaan, ay handang tumulong sa ating mga kababayan dito sa Aurora na nais tulungan ang kanilang mga sarili. Kaya ito po ay isang hamon sa inyong lahat upang pagyamanin po ninyo ang handog pangkabuhyan na ito. Sa bawat padyak sa inyong mga Negokarts, ay padyak dapat tungo sa marangal, mahusay, at disenteng trabaho,” Fernando said.

Aside from having a new ice cream Negokart, Mang Ian was overwhelmed because he was also provided with additional tools, materials, and ingredients for his ice cream-making.

“Sobrang tuwa ko po na ipinagkaloob po ng DOLE at ng Panlalawigang Pamahalaan ng Aurora sa akin itong Negokart. Asahan po ninyo na hindi po kayo mabibigo sa akin at mas lalo ko pa pong pagyayamanin ito,” Mang Ian said.

In just a few months of operation, Mang Ian is now making a little more or even higher than the region’s prevailing minimum wage on a daily basis.

“Dahil hindi ko na po kailangang mag-renta ng ice cream cart at meron na po akong isang magarang Negokart, mas lumaki na po ang aking kinikita at mas nakakatulong na po ako sa pang araw-araw na pangangailangan ng aking pamilya at sa pag-aaral ng aking mga anak. Sana po, tuloy-tuloy lang ang pagtulong ng DOLE sa mga taong nais magkaroon ng maliit na negosyo,” Mang Ian said. (PNA)

SCS/PR/EBP

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