Thanks to Ang Kasangga, From Rizal Park ambulant vendors to store operators
Bago dumating Ang Kasangga sa buhay namin, para kaming basura dito sa Luneta. This was how a Rizal Park ambulant vendor described their lot.
Lucy Galvez lamented that they often fall reluctant victims to loan sharks because lack of capital drive them into getting loans from lending exploiters who charge exorbitant interests.
Galvez, project coordinator of the Rizal Park Vendors Association, Inc., added that running away to evade law enforcers have also become part of their daily working lives.
Hirap ka na sa pagkayod maghapon, hinuhuli pa kaming parang kriminal, she bewailed.
Galvez is thankful that Ang Kasangga sa Kaunlaran, Inc., or Ang Kasangga, entered their lives and they became recipient of the corporations micro-lending program.
Ang Kasangga provided them with the necessary capital and now they have graduated from being ambulant vendors to being store operators at the national park.
Ngayon, may sariling pwesto na kami. Higit sa lahat, may pag-asa na, Galvez said.
Ang Kasangga is a non-stock, non-profit civic and service oriented corporation formed from the incorporators common ideology that business is not all about money and profit; it should also serve as a vehicle for ensuring that there is social justice for the poor, the needy and the suffering population.
Ang Kasangga also believes that a fully developed micro-entrepreneurship will empower the poor people and become a backbone of the economy.
Since its inception in 2004, Ang Kasangga has grown strong from 45,000 to 260,000 card-bearing members, most of whom are sari-sari stores and food stall owners, and market vendors, jeepney, tricycle and bus drivers and operators, and blind masseurs.
For the past years, Ang Kasangga has untiringly provided a micro-lending program for marginalized barangay-based micro-entrepreneurs, a scholarship program for 46 children of slain Filipino journalists, a human resource-building program, a livelihood and housing program, a fiscal program for savings, among others.
The strong conviction that micro-entrepreneurs, particularly those from the grassroots who are a marginalized sector, should have representation in Congress to ensure that their concerns would be heard and addressed prompted Ang Kasangga to register as a party list group in the coming May 10 synchronized elections. (30)