Jerry Deguera was a driver of a tricycle when he met Ritchel who was to become his wife. Ritchel was one of his ‘suki’ regular passengers. They started to live together 12 years ago and they have four children, all boys: Generic (11), Red (9), April Boy (7) and Rey Adrian (2). All of them go to school except Rey Adrian.
Jerry supports his family by selling T-shirts and towels on the streets in Bacolod city. He sells at least five days a week. He walks on the streets, carrying two bags, one with his stocks and the other with his samples to show to his customers. As he walks, he greets people and shows them his articles. About one in every ten people he meets buys something from him.
The Deguera family lives in a house which Jerry himself built six years ago. The land does not belong to them and so when the owner will want it back, they will have to leave. Presently Jerry has no business capital and so he depends on a local money lender who charges him 20 per cent a week. He was therefore glad when he heard about the PSHF from a neighbour.
Jerry has applied for a loan of 5,000 pesos to enable him to pay back the money lender and expand his business. Besides the goods that he sells now, he would like to buy and sell a wider variety of goods, such as socks and undergarments for men and children and rubber sandals for girls. He is keen to go and sell outside the city once he has a bigger capital and sell to vendors in the provincial town markets.
Currently, Jerry is making an income of 2,000 pesos ($42) a week out of which he must pay 400 pesos a week in interest to the money lender. This leaves him with 1,600 pesos which is just about enough to meet his family’s living costs but there are never any extra funds to pay off his debt. The loan from the PSHF will enable him to free himself from this burden and give him the opportunity to raise his income and provide a better life for his family.
Richard Foster & Naoko Harada