Google map of Camarines Norte.

LEGAZPI CITY – Hundreds of sari-sari (sundry) store owners in Camarines Norte province on Friday received additional capital from two senators under the "Sari-Saring Pag-Asa" program.

The cash aid from Senators Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano was granted through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

"Sari-Saring Pag-Asa" is the flagship program of Alan Peter, under which a total of 300 store owners in Labo, Camarines Norte received PHP3,500 each.

Camarines Norte 1st District Rep. Josefina Tallado, who facilitated the distribution, urged her constituents to wisely and properly use the assistance they received.

“Yung tatanggapin po natin ngayon, gamitin natin sa pangkabuhayan natin, pandagdag sa inyong paninda para [tuloy-tuloy] ang inyong tindahan. Gamitin natin nang tama ang tinatanggap nating tulong mula sa gobyerno. Kami po ay instrumento lamang para makatulong sa inyo. (What we will receive now, let's use it for our livelihood, supplement your merchandise to [continue] your store. Let's use the help we receive from the government correctly. We are just an instrument to help you)," Tallado said in a statement.

In response, the recipients vowed to use the cash aid as capital for their micro-business.

One of them, Derica Periera from Santa Elena, Camarines Norte, said: “Isa po kami sa pinakamalalayong lugar subalit kami po ay naabot ng programang ito. Kami po ay buong pusong nagpapasalamat kina Senator Alan Peter Cayetano at Senator Pia Cayetano (Our area is among those that are most remote but this program has reached us. We wholeheartedly thank Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Senator Pia Cayetano)."

Tallado expressed optimism that the Cayetanos will continue their coordination with the local government of Camarines Norte in extending help to residents of the province.

“Sabi nga po ni Senator Alan at Senator Pia, simula pa lang po ito ng patuloy na pagbibigay sa atin ng mga programang ganito (Senator Alan and Senator Pia said this is just the beginning of continuous programs like this),” she said. (PNA)