(Exchange rate : One US dollar = 51.68 Philippine Pesos)
Business: Snack Vendor
Loan Amount: 8,000 pesos (about $150)
Previous Loan: 5,000 pesos (about $100)
Lorna is a quiet, 47-year-old mother of 7 and grandmother of 3 living with her 63-year-old retired government laborer who receives a small pension. Every day, Lorna has gone to bed at 11pm and, along with her children, awoken at 2 am to peel, cook, and package pao (or taro), cassava and other snacks for sell at the market. Lorna rents her market stall for Php 1,200 a month + 10 Php daily. She grosses about Php 2,000 a day (~$43). She nets about 1,000 pesos (~$20) with a greater profit on “market day” when other vendors visit from neighboring areas. Having benefited from multiple Wisconsin Mirofinance loans, Lorna uses her current as additional business capital. She pays Php 750 weekly and Php 100 daily to the cooperative collector- never missing a payment. Lorna even pays extra daily, so she can repay her loan early. When we recently interviewed Lorna, she had changed her lifestyle including getting more sleep as she had missed work due to a hypertension diagnosis in January. The loans have provided financial aid during her recovery and allowed her to enroll one of her children in a TESDA vocational training course. Lorna is very proud to have set up a cooperative saving account.
Business: Piggery and Sari-sari store
Loan Amount: 6,000 Php (about $115)
Catalina is a recently widowed mother of seven who owns a piggery and sari-sari store. With the help of her son Herbert, Catalina was able to obtain a microfinance.Of her seven children two are left in school– one in the 10th grade and one in 3rd grade. Catalina lost her farmer-husband last year to an illness that severely drained the family’s resources. In February, she took out a 6,000 Php loan to purchase a sow, feeds, and supplies for her little sari-sari store. With the Wisconsin Microfinance loan, Catalina was able to more than triple her profits from buying a sow and selling the piglets. The loan has been helpful to all aspects of Catalina and her family’s lives. Her home was devastated during the earthquake and was not given any governmental aid to help rebuild. Without the loan, she wouldn’t have been able to buy her own sow and raise funds to rebuild part of their house and pay for her children’s school expenses. She is now on her way to fulfilling her dream of having her children to get an education and living better lives.
Business: Seaweed Vendor
Loan Amount: 5,000 Php (About $100)
We bumped into 61-year old Veronica as she was picking up her seaweed supply with her helper. She sells them at her stall in the neighboring town of Loon. Veronica is a widow of a fisherman with whom she had three children. She has been running her seaweed business for the last 40 years. She is now her second loan for 5,000 Php. and makes daily payments of 30-50 pesos. She uses the loan as capital to buy additional seaweed. Veronica is also using part of the loan to make house improvements after the earthquake. She is happy that she is able to make these home improvements without having to deal with loan sharks who charge upwards of 20% interest on their loans.
Business: Market Store Vendor
Loan Amount: 5,000 pesos (about $100)
Antonietta is a bright mother who owns a corner store. Unfortunately, she has experienced a string of bad luck. First her parents got sick and were hospitalized. Then her husband was in a work related accident and was also hospitalized. He is now recovering at home. The loans she received from Wisconsin Microfinance have helped Antonietta financially during this difficult time. With the loans she was able to pay her husband and parents medical bills, as well as obtain more capital for her store. She is grateful for the money the microloan has given her, but also for the savings account that the loan has allowed her to set up with the coop. Antonietta is saving for her child’s education.
Business: Hair dresser and home beauty services
Loan Amount: 15,000 Php (about $300)
Fe is a smart, energetic single mother of three. With the loan, Fe was able to expand her business as well as send her two eldest children to college. She is proud to say that her oldest has just graduated from university with a degree in electrical engineering. The loan has also allowed Fe to buy more capital for her business. As of now, Fe rents out a beauty chair from a salon which she conducts her business from. She is saving so that one day she can own her own salon. With the recent boom in business, that dream doesn’t seem so far away.
Business: Dry Goods Variety Store
Loan Amount: 5,000 pesos (about $100)
Arlene is a mother of three who owns a dry goods variety store. Recently, her toddler was hospitalized, making her even more grateful for her microloan. The loan has helped pay for her child’s medical bill, as well as help her stock her store. Now her store is well stocked, just in time for the start of the new school semester. Her loan of 5,000 pesos is payable in three months. She pays 50 Php daily and so far has been up-to-date on all of her payments.