Rodito Laurito and his family lost everything to a fire that happened in their home in January 2020. Through the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Rodito received financial assistance amounting to PHP 20,000 which serves as a seed capital fund to finance the livelihood of his choice.

Rodito Laurito, a resident from Barangay Mahogany, Butuan City, was living a good life until a big fire happened in their barangay last January 2020, which took away everything he had worked hard for. In a snap of the fingers, he lost his valuables, house, and livelihood. It was a devastating moment for Rodito.

But instead of giving in to defeat, he chose to cultivate faith during this pressing time. Rodito thought that all his life, he had been working hard to provide well for his family. Hence, nothing, not even a fire, can take away his faith and determination to recover from this terrible experience.

With the help of the Local Government Unit of Butuan City and some national agencies such as the National Housing Authority and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Rodito and other fire victims acquired assistance to recover from that incident such as family food packs, hygiene and sleeping kits, cash assistance, and housing materials.

In pursuant to DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 15 or the “Special Guidelines on the Provision of Seed Capital Fund (SCF) to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) or Persons Displaced by Disasters due to Armed Conflicts or any form of Disasters”, Rodito received a livelihood assistance amounting to PHP 20,000 which was sourced out through the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program. The said memorandum was released to help internally displaced persons recover from any form of disaster by providing them with seed capital funds to finance or set up their own small livelihood project.

After receiving the livelihood assistance, Rodito decided to invest it in his son’s small sari-sari store in Barangay Pagatpatan in the same city. Rodito thought that with the strategic location of their store, it would be a good investment if they also started selling frozen products and easy-to-cook snacks like burger, siomai, kwek-kwek, shake, halo-halo, and rice meals. Together with his son, they expanded the business and ventured in food snack services.

Aside from food services, Rodito and his son also began selling frozen products as it was also very marketable and easy to sell.

The father and son’s decision to expand did not go to waste as their sales increased dramatically. With their income, they were able to purchase additional equipment for their business like a mini freezer, blender, ice crusher, and gas griddle burger machine.

Rodito and his son also agreed to set aside 25% of their daily sales as savings to which they plan to use for their family needs, emergency purposes, and another business expansion in the future. At present, their business has an estimated monthly income ranging from PHP 35,000-PHP 50,000.

Nagapasalamat gyud ko sa gobyerno sa ilang wala pagbiya sa amo. Dili lalim among naagian ug walay nagtuo ng makabakod pa mi ato. Karon, maningkamot gyud mi nga maplastar ning gihatag nila nga oportunidad ug tabang sa amo (I am grateful to the government for not leaving us. What we went through wasn’t easy and nobody thought that we could ever recover from that incident. We’ll do our best to make sure that the help and opportunity they have extended to use will prosper),” Rodito said.

Now, Rodito can say that his family is in a better place now. With money to spend from their business, he was able to ensure lighting in his new house. He shared that the fire that took away everything from him will always be a painful memory. But it also serves as a reminder to him to allot an emergency fund and savings which they can use in any circumstances.

Rodito and his family’s recovery journey wasn’t a bed of roses. But with his faith and perseverance, everything that he had started from scratch is now turning out to be his biggest accomplishment and fulfillment in life.

An exterior shot of Rodito and his son’s sari-sari store and food snack business in Barangay Pagatpatan, Butuan City.
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