Press Releases
Online seller of Bataan benefits from TUPAD #BKBK, used cash aid to grow business


Shaira Joy Timoteo Macalalad, mother of two, is a resident of Barangay Pag-asa, Dinalupihan, Bataan. Living in hope, the 24-year old Shaira used all her means to be able to support her family as her husband, Ian Jake, takes care of their children.


Ian had to stop working when their six-year old son, Aian, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Since October 2019, Aian has undergone chemotherapy three times a week at Bataan General Hospital in Balanga City. Because of their financial situation, the local government of Bataan provides Aian’s treatment for free, and Shaira only has to shoulder minimal expenses for his medicines. Recently, his chemotherapy was transferred to St. Joseph Chapel, also in Balanga, while Bataan General Hospital is being used for COVID-19 patients in the province.


Battling with Aian, his mother Shaira remains on her toes in providing what her family needs. “Syempre, napapagod din. Pero pag naiisip ko ang anak ko at ang sakit na pilit nyang nilalabanan, kahit ano pang pagod ay nakakaya kong tiisin,” Shaira said in an interview. (Of course, I get tired. But thinking about my son fighting this disease, I can endure anything.) 


Shaira’s main source of income comes from her small online business of selling home-prepared snacks or merienda which she started in January 2019. Offered in the nearby community, spaghetti, puto, kalamay or sticky rice cake, and pancit are the usual items on her menu. 


On 18 March 2020, the Department of Labor and Employment issued Department Order No. 210, s. 2020 to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in the informal worker sector. This issuance launched the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers Program #Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko! Disinfecting/Sanitation Project or TUPAD #BKBK. 


Shaira saw this as an opportunity and reached out to the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of Dinalupihan. She was qualified to be one of the beneficiaries of TUPAD #BKBK, and for the period of 10 days, Shaira worked 4 hours a day to sanitize their house and immediate vicinity. She received her salary amounting to P4,200 on April 21.


Instead of spending it outright, Shaira put and invested the additional cash to her growing online business and added kimchi, fresh fish, squid, and other seafood to her list of products. She assures her customers that even at a very affordable price, the quality of the food she offers remains. Now, even the doctors and nurses assigned at St. Joseph Chapel and Bataan General Hospital look forward to her menu during their afternoon snack break.


Although it is yet a long journey for Aian, Shaira finds gratitude for the outpouring blessings they receive. “Malaki ang aking pasasalamat sa patuloy na tulong na ibinibigay ng gobyerno lalo na sa aking anak at sa aming hanapbuhay,” she said. (Huge thanks to the government for its continuous support to my son and our living.)


Shaira is another embodiment of women who juggle their role as mothers and at the same time providing the bread and butter on their family’s table. With the help of the local government unit of Bataan, its PESO, and DOLE, Shaira is positive that Aian will make it through this disease.


As of May 20, 2,936 individuals from Bataan were aided under the TUPAD #BKBK program. In the whole of Region 3, 24,469 informal sector workers were able to benefit from the said program-- totalling the distributed amount  to more than P105.1 million. (Aurora - 4,232 beneficiaries; Bulacan - 3,290 beneficiaries; Nueva Ecija - 2,951 beneficiaries; Pampanga - 5,448 beneficiaries; Tarlac - 3,957 beneficiaries; and Zambales - 1,655 beneficiaries)

END/ A. Cunanan

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