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Bringing Sustainable Livelihood to Community

Daet, Camarines– What makes a home sturdy?

For Mr. Jonel Guevarra, aluminum bars forged to be just as strong as steel and glass trimmed down to fit the frame are some of the foundations that make a home strong and durable. He has an aluminum and glass cutting business after all, and he knows just how important these materials are for keeping rust and dampness at bay.

Interestingly, his business is somewhat in parallel with his life narrative. At 28, he already has his fair share of life’s cuts and trimmings. 

Jonel married at a young age; he was only 21 years old when he decided to settle down. But because he was only able to complete secondary education, he could only take blue-collar jobs such as bagger, vendor and construction worker, to name a few, in order to support his family. He has to work harder, given that his second child is diagnosed with meningitis/epilepsy, which means that he needs an extra source of income to cover for medical expenses. 

Isang malaking hamon para sa aming mag-asawa ang pagkakaroon ng espesyal na kondisyon ng aming anak.  Kinakailangang masuportahan namin ang kanyang pangangailangan sa pagpapagamot para siya ay maka-recover.  Katulad ng bawat magulang, masakit para sa amin ang makita siya sa ganoong kalagayan.  Sa uri ng trabaho ko bilang labor, kulang na kulang ito para sa aming pangangailangan,” he says. 

To augment the medical bills and daily expenses, Ronel would also take jobs from his father-in-law, a foreman by profession, whenever the latter has a residential construction project. While he earns as much as P450 a day, construction jobs are seasonal and thus could not cover their family expenses for a longer period of time. This is why on days when construction projects are few and far between, Ronel would also work as a helper at a glass and aluminum cutting shop owned by his cousin in Daet where he earns 250 daily from Mondays to Fridays.

Batid naman po natin na sa uri po ng aking trabaho hindi po ito tuluy-tuloy.  Pasalamat na lang po ako nung makapasok ako bilang helper sa isang glass and aluminum shop. Nakatulong po ito na pantustos sa pang-araw-araw naming pangangailangan.”  

During weekends, his cousin would also hire him for subcontracting jobs where he receives at least 20 percent commission or an average of P2,000 per project. 

“Naging regular na rin po yung pagkuha sa akin nung aking pinsan para tulungan siya sa kanyang mga kontrata.”  
 
During these periods, Jonel endeavors to learn the technical aspects of doing the work.  But when his cousin relocated, he decided to start his own aluminum cutting service. Given that he already has the basic tools and skillset to boot, he confidently accepts job orders in spite of the fact that this business requires time and tedious labor. 
 
 “Maliban sa karagdagang kita, biyaya ng Diyos na matutunan ko ang skill na ito na siyang magbibigay daan na mabago ang kalagayan ng aming buhay.”
 
Jonel is determined to make it work. While running a business and doing all the labor are not easy at first, Jonel knows that he can overcome the challenges with proper mindset. The desire to be a good provider for his family also fueled him to master the craft. 
 
“Kinailangang kong matapos ng isang buong araw para lang sa pagtabas dahil sa mano-mano ung gamit kong steel saw. At madalas marami akong tapon dahil sa hindi tamang sukat o di malinis na pagkakatrim nito. Kailangang kong makabili noon ng electrically powered cutting saw, ngunit sumasapat lamang ang kita ko paggastos sa bahay at para sa gamut na aming anak.”
 
Things started to look up when the Barangay Council of Del Rosario, Mercedes applied for livelihood assistance under the Kabuhayan Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol. Luckily, Jonel had been assessed and selected as one of the beneficiaries of the program. And on August 21, 2017, he has received a starter kit or a package of cutting equipment for his business from DOLE Bicol through its Camarines Norte Provincial Field Office.
 
“Tunay po talagang mabuti ang Diyos, nakasali po ako sa mga napagkalooban ng kompletong kagamitan lalo na po ung electrical cutting saw na naging napakalaking tulong para sa akin nagsisimulang hanapbuhay.”
 
 
Eventually, he’s able to get more customers and make a significant earnings averaging between P3,000 to P30,000.  Within one year, he’s able to purchase a motorcycle on monthly installment. Later that year, they even moved in to a new house made of semi-concrete materials after years of living with their in-laws. After two years, Jonel is able to make a full payment for their new home.
 
“Parang ulan po patuloy sa pagbuhos ang dami ng aking naging customer.  Bukod po kasi sa kalidad ng serbisyo ko, higit na mura po ang bigay ko sa kanila. Nagbibigay pa po ako ng diskwento at minsan na iffree deliver ko pa ito sa bahay nila.”  
 
In January, Jonel has logged his highest income yet, amounting to P70,000 which he used for the payment of the fabrication of his hauler. With this new equipment, he can save transport /hauling expense when buying of materials and deliveries. 
 
“Napakalaking biyaya po ang pagdating sa akin ng tulong mula sa DOLE.  Labis po ang katuwaan naming mag-asawa na sa pamamagitan ng hanapbuhay kong ito ay unti-unti nang natutupad ang aming mga pangarap.”  Higit lalo ang maibigay namin ang isang maayos na buhay para sa aming mga anak.”
 
As requirement for glass and aluminum works expanded from screen door to sliding window and grills to kitchen cabinet, he has to extend up to 12 hours to complete his project and do the installation the following day. 
 
“Personally po, nadevelop po talaga ang aking kakayahan at natutunan ko ang mga bagay tungkol sa pagmamanage ng negosyo.  Natuto ako kung paano makipagusap sa mga tao, nagkaroon po ako ng tiwala sa aking sarili. Maging ang aking asawa ay katulong ko sa pagrerecord at pakkipagusap sa aming mga kliyente.”
 
With business doing quite well, Jonel has to employ two (2) helpers whom he pays P250 a day. During peak season, he would hire two more workers to meet project schedules and deliverables on time. 
 
 “Kung noon ako ang naghahanap ng trabaho, ngayon ako naman po ang nagbibigay ng trabaho sa iba.” Sabi nga po ng iba, big time na daw ako kasi may trabahador na ako.”
 
At present, his cutting jobs have become very popular, thanks to Jonel’s commitment to deliver quality results and ensure value for money for his customers. 
 
“Nagugulat nga po ako dahil magging sa malalayong lugar nakaktangga po kami ng order. Pinopost pala po ng mga nagpagawa sa akin ung mga gawa ko at nirerekomenda nila sa iba. Sa ngayon po, pinaglalaanan naming mag-asawa na makapagawa ng kahit maliit na puwesto na pagtatayuan ng shop.”
 
“Araw-araw kami pong mag-asawa ay nagpapasalamat sa Diyos kasama ng aming mga anak sa napalaking biyaya naipagkaloob niya sa pamamagitan ng DOLE.  Tunay nga pong ang kanilang layuning mabago ang buhay ng katulad kong simpleng trabahador ay tunay at totoo.”  Ang kwento ko ay isa lamang sa higit daang buhay na nabago at naging matagumpay dahil sa pagtitiwalang binigay ng DOLE.” 
 
To ensure the sustainability and legality of his business, Ronel plans to secure a business permit, register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for the issuance of official receipt. If savings will be enough, he will put up a physical shop to serve as both working space and exhibit area as his long term vision.
 
DILP or the Kabuhayan Program of DOLE is a flagship program of the agency that aims to help marginalized groups such as self-employed workers who are unable to earn sufficient income, unpaid family workers, low-waged and seasonal workers, workers displaced or to be displaced, marginalized and landless farmers, marginalized fisher-folks, women and youth, persons with disability, senior citizens, indigenous peoples, victims of armed conflicts, rebel returnees, and parents of child laborers. /ISO PR Code:2020_gud_Feb_25_ Bringing Sustainable Livelihood to Community:The Jonel Guevarra’s Success Story

 
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Approved for Regional Release:
 
JOEL M. GONZALES
Regional Director
 
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2020-02-25
Director's Corner

JOEL M. GONZALES

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