Emma 55) is a native of Trinidad, an interior town in the northeastern part of Bohol island. She is married to Dario (48) and they have three children: Joymie (24) who is in her final year of studies to become a teacher, Jean (19) is a first year college student in Office Administration; and the youngest John Jay (16) is in the 11th grade of high school.
The couple both have jobs to support the family. Emma works as a farm labourer earning 400 pesos ($7.50) a day but only for four months a year during planting seasons. For the other months of the year, she tends the family’s backyard vegetable garden. As for Dario, he works in his welding and mechanical shop assisted by his two nephews. This work gives him a net income of 200 pesos ($3.75) a day. He used to combine this work with being a driver of a Motorela (a six-sitter passenger vehicle) but in November 2022 he had a stroke while driving it and was rushed to hospital. During his month long stay in hospital, it was discovered that he had a heart enlargement. In order to pay the medical expenses he and Emma decided to sell the Motorela which he had bought through a PSHF loan in December 2021. The couple were apologetic telling me that they had had to give up the vehicle but I assured them that we understood the situation as Dario was now unfit to drive as the left side of his body had been affected by the stroke.
With their three children in school, Emma and Dario have some concerns about funding their education on a lower income than before Dario had his stroke. Emma has recently heard that a relative has a rice paddy field available for leasing. The plot, measuring 7,500 sq. metres is irrigated and the lease term being offered is four years. Emma with Dario’s support has applied for a loan with us to enable her to take up this leasing opportunity. Once the land is leased, Emma will hire some labourers to help her with the land preparation and planting. She hopes to harvest 50 sacks of unmilled rice twice a year from which she will keep 10 sacks for home consumption and sell the rest. After deducting farming expenses, Emma hopes to have a net income of 25,000 pesos ($450) from each harvest.
The additional income from rice farming will enable Emma to pay Joymie and Jean’s respective tuition fees of 6,000 pesos per semester and provide all the children with their daily allowances. Emma as well as Dario are excited for the prospects of their rice farming and we at the PSHF wish them bountiful harvests in the coming years.
Analyn T. Gallibot