“ Life is better when you get to buy commercial rice and you won’t have to eat NFA rice anymore,” bragged Lilibeth Polinar, 50 years old, President of Mararag 2 SKA of Brgy. Mararag, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur.
Libeth recalls how she used to loan money just to pay her debts.
“ It was a never ending cycle,” she reminisced.
Until, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) came on 2013 when she saw that light of opportunity.
Having been a hog raiser and a tenant rice farmer for many years, she and her husband Cirilio, 54, had always dreamt of owning a piggery and their own land to farm. However, they don’t have the capital.
In March 2013, the SLP came into picture, the said Program lent money to Libeth as a start up capital to set off her Project amounting to Php 7, 000.00.
With the borrowed money, she purchased three sacks of feeds for her hogs. After a month she sold her fattened hogs for almost Php 20,000.00, with this big return of investment Libeth and Mang Cirilio decided to finance a rice paddy. And the fruit of the harvest they’ve decided to venture into another, the Multi – grains retailing business. Libeth opened the Polinar Agrivet Supply located at the Poblacion, along the hi – way.
Expanding the venture
In June 2013, barely after three months, Libeth invested into Mutli – grains retailing business with an initial capital of Php 20,000.00. She rented a small space in Marihatag for a meager amount. She started selling twelve (12) sacks of different variety of feeds and a sack of rice.
After six months, she raised her sales from 12 to thirty – three (33) different variety of feeds or even more and 14 different variety of rice. On lean days, she sells a maximum of Php 20,000.00.
Contributory to her success is her good relations with QualiFeeds, a product producer company of feeds and other agrivet supplies. Built through trust, instead of paying it on a bi – monthly basis she pays her purchases on a weekly basis which in return gives her better incentives apart from the regular incentive she’s getting. And with the increasing demands she can now purchase on credit an average of 200 sacks per week and will even increase on peak seasons. As her orders raise so goes her incentives from the company.
There are four other Agrivet stores in the municipality. The competition is very stiff that one of the store owners had to mark down his prices to attract more customers. Despite this Libeth remains steadfast and continues her good relations to her customers and remains loyal to QualiFeeds. Her orders keep on increasing. Now, Libeth is the sole distributor of QualiFeeds products in the municipality. Bigger discounts the company offers, hence she sells her products at a lower price than the other competitors.
Libeth now enjoys an average monthly income of Php440,000.00
From the earnings and incentives, she was able to buy one brand new multi – cab, two side car motorcycles, and a laptop which she uses especially during bidding which bids are posted via on line.
And out from the income generated from the Mutlti – grains retailing business, the couple now rents a three – hectare rice paddies formerly Mang Cirilio tilled but now it’s Lloyd, the third child tends.
“Everything she touched grows,” Hon. Allan Pelenio, Marihatag Municipal Mayor candidly commented.
Mayor Pelenio added that Libeth is a woman to be mirrored and be replicated with her utmost dedication and passion showed not only in her businesses but as well as in achieving her dreams.
The mayor also mentioned that Libeth is a risk – taker and is not afraid to take a big leap.
On October 8, 2014 Libeth opened a new branch of her retailing business at Brgy. San Agustin, the Polinar Agrivet Supply 2 managed by Jessie Boy, her fourth child. For less than a month of operation, there was already a return of her investment. Now, she plans to rent another space just within the block where her store is located for her to have a bodega after she sought an increasing hike of the sales.
Apart from her agrivet business, Libeth is also into buying and selling copra and uling (charcoal). This gives her another additional income.
All for the children
Libeth and her family are never tired of working hard, all for her children. She financed Marilou, her first child, a solo parent, a sari – sari store at Brgy. Mararag. Now Marilou was able to build her abode and raises pigs from the income of the store.
Also, she lent Michael, her second child now based in Davao the multi – cab and capital for his buy and sell of mangoes business.
She is also into retailing of gasoline. Louie Paul, her fifth child manages it. She got her supplies from Phoenix Company of which gives her an additional average income of Php 5, 000.00 per week. Louie also helped in her mom’s buying and selling of palay.
Her two other children, Cyril Beth and Cyrix John, take care of the three (3) sows on its way this December and January and six (6) hogs. Cyril Beth is a college graduate while Cyrix is a third year Criminology student.
“ These are all for them, we are doing this to give them a better life which we were deprived of, “ Libeth proudly said.
The Polinar Agrivet Supply 2 in San Agustin does well. With its promising response from the market, Libeth plans to expand to other neighbouring municipalities. Before the year ends, she is dedicated to open another branch for her retailing business, the Polinar Agrivet Supply 3 for his second child to manage. Now, she is busy looking for a strategic space where to put up her 3rd Agrivet store.
On her success
“ I owe it all to Him. I am grateful of this privilege, His abundance given. I am forever grateful for those who became instruments of our success. To the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the DSWD and to the SLP, my second family I considered, thank you very much without forgetting of course the QualiFeeds,” Libeth tearfully narrated.
“ SLP completely changed our life. It gave our family a chance of a lifetime. Who would lend us capital with no interest? It’s only SLP. If chances knock you really have to gamble, that’s what I did. Never to be afraid to take chances, you’ve just got to have confidence in yourself.” she continued.