Barely Enough: Disproving the Micro Finance Solution

In Metro Manila, the daily cost of living per family is pegged at P806 ($16.516).

Cely Marasigan also owns a tricycle and a store selling spare parts and diesel for tricycles.

She said they borrowed P20,000 ($409.836) from Pag-Ibig for their capital.

Marasigan said she earns P200 ($4.09) a day from selling diesel. If she is able to sell a tire, which happens usually once every quarter, she earns P3,000 ($61.47). For spare parts, she earns P20 to P30 ($0.409 to $0.61) for every P200 ($4.09) purchase.

In 2005, Marasigan bought a motorcycle for P61,200 ($1,111 at the 2005 average exchange rate of $1=P55.085) and a sidecar for P4,500 ($81). Again, they borrowed money to purchase the tricycle and have been paying P1,700 ($34.836 at current exchange rates) per month for the loan.

Marasigan said she earns only P120 ($2.459) per day from the tricycle.

Marasigan’s husband works as an engineer in Vietnam. If not for her husband’s income, Marasigan does not know how she would be able to feed and send her three children to school, because her income from her small businesses is inadequate.

Variety store and small eatery

The omnipresent variety store could be found in almost every street corner. Although selling at prices higher than supermarkets and grocery stores, customers go to variety stores for their emergency needs. Variety stores also sell products at smaller packs than supermarkets, thus making it more affordable.

Small eateries, on the other hand, can be seen in crowded places: near schools, terminals of public utility vehicles, bus stops, public markets, and the like. Food can be had in these eateries at prices lower than fast food chains, food courts in malls, and restaurants.

Because of their affordability and location, variety stores and small eateries never lack in customers. Convenience is its edge. Convenience is also the reason why many families who are able to generate some savings decide to set up a variety store or a small eatery. All they have to do is buy in bulk and sell in small quantities. The cooking for eateries does not even have to be much of a chore as families cook every day for their daily meals.

How do they fare in terms of income?

Vivian Ariño, owner of a variety store and small eatery in Barangay (village) Central, Quezon City, said that in 2002, she invested P50,000 ($968.99 at the 2002 exchange rate of $1=P51.60) for her small business.

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  1. If that money they divide it to the whole population in this country it would be more useful than just making programs which cannot really help because its just a front for corruption.

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