Barely Enough: Disproving the Micro Finance Solution

Ariño said the amount did not cover the purchase of all her cooking utensils. She said that when they started, they cooked and sold only five to six viands per day. She also used to pay P4,500 ($87.209) for the rent. Now, the rent amounts to P15,000 ($307.377 at the current exchange rate) per month.

Ariño estimated that her monthly expenses reach P 23,000 ($471) She also has to pay her two workers.

Asked if her business sustains her, she answered, “Maliit lang ang kita. Walang savings.” (I earn a small amount. I don’t have any savings.)

“Okey na sa akin na may pagkain at pambayad sa iba pang gastos. Basta wala lang utang, ayos na,” (It’s okay with me for as long as I have money for food and other expenses. For as long as I do not incur loans, then I am alright.) she added. She has no dependents.

Cita Velasco, owner of a variety store, said she allotted P10,000 ($204.91) for her small business. She earns P100 to P200 ($2.05 to $4.09) per day if her gross sales reaches from P700 to P1,000 ($14.34 to $20.49).

Velasco used to run a small eatery but she eventually closed it down when her clients, workers at a nearby kapok factory, were retrenched.

Her husband delivers vegetables to the market, earning P300 to P500 ($6.147 to $$10.245) a day.

To augment their income, Velasco said they converted a part of the store into a room for rent and charge the occupant P2,500 ($51.229) per month.

Velasco said their small businesses are not enough to provide for their needs. They send two of their children to college and another to a secondary school.


If OFWs or local workers are able to avail of the loan being offered by the Arroyo government for livelihood assistance, he or she should pay P27,500 ($563) every year for two years. This means that every month, he or she has to set aside P2,291.66 ($46.946) for payment of the P50,000 ($1,024) loan with five percent interest per year.

If he or she earns around P100 to P200 ($2.05 to $4.09) daily – as in the case of tricycle and variety store owners – or even double, their income from these would barely suffice for their basic needs. How then could the livelihood assistance in the form of a P50,000 loan make up for the loss in income of retrenched local workers and OFWs? With reports from Angie de Lara(

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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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