Posted on 07 March 2014.
Susana checks on a finished item.
Cagayan de Oro City — Starting a business with limited resources is a challenge, especially for women.
For Susana Cabreros, 51, a housewife from Zone 1, Upper Carmen, this city, life has not been easy.
Her husband is a “motorela” driver who earns a meager income barely enough to support their daily needs.
Things started to change, however, when Susana put up a tailoring business with a group of women beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program with the assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).
Susana’s family is one of the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Northern Mindanao who received assistance from the SLP.
SLP is a capacity building program of DSWD that seeks to improve the socio-economic mobility of poor families, prioritizing Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. Program participants undergo social preparation workshops and skills training, and then organized to start their own resource-based and market-driven community enterprises.
On the other hand, Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program implemented by the DSWD that invests in children’s health and education. Families participating in the program receive cash assistance upon meeting conditions for health, education, and family development.
Susana is now earning an average of P200 daily by heading the Upper Carmen Sisterhood Association with 15 women-members engaged in the tailoring business.
Each of the members shared P10,000 for their P150,000-capital to start the business. The group specializes in making jersey tee shirts and shorts, bags, jogging pants, and polo shirts, among others.
“Naa jud ‘koy income matag adlaw nga magamit nako sa among inadlaw-adlaw nga panginahanglano (I always have a daily income to defray the cost of our needs),” she said.
With the new business, she can fulfill her dream to secure her children’s education and provide a better life for her family.
The tailoring business is four months in operation, but Susana is optimistic her group will go beyond their expectations as they continue earning.
To save on cost, she requested her eldest son, Ryan, who is now married, to help in the business by printing the t-shirts, short pants, jogging pants, and other orders of their customers. Ryan is good at silkscreen and rubberized printing. For his service, Susana gives him P100 which she hopes to increase when the business starts to pick up.
Susana’s eldest sister, Florenda Degomio, also a member of the women’s group, is the master cutter of the shop.
The shop started with only Florenda and Susana as cutters and sewers. Susana and her elder sister trained three other sewers to meet their daily targets.
“Pwede na namo sila mabiyaan karon kay maayo naman sila (They can perform now without our supervision),” Susana stated.
Designing bags, shirts, and pants is not new to Susana. She learned designing from her previous work from a private tailoring company in the city.
Most of the product designs of the shop are based on catalogues. However, if a customer wants customized designs, her 12-year old daughter, Crystal, readily conceptualizes with them. Crystal has been into customized designing since the shop started its operations. She only helps in the shop, though, after finishing all her lessons.
Susana considers the participation of the members of her family as their training in preparation for a better future which she believes is already within reach noting their hard work and diligence, not to mention her being a good example to them. ###