Neome’s husband Edgardo left his family in Santa Catalina in 2008 and went to Cebu with a friend to work there as a delivery truck driver because salaries in Cebu are higher and he could send more money home than he could earn in Santa Catalina. He returned home for family visits, but the visit from November 1 to November 3, 2015, during a short break from work, was the last time that he would see his family. He was killed soon after returning to Cebu. The killer was never found, but Edgardo had been trailed several times after he refused to cooperate with demands to carry stolen contraband goods on his delivery truck. Neome believes that the murder was a hit job arranged by people higher up. Afraid of the consequences that could follow should she go after the case, she dropped it in order to protect herself and her family from further misfortune and violence.
A little over a year after her husband’s death, Neome fell into deep depression, triggered by her youngest daughter being in and out of the hospital with various illnesses. For months, she simply lost the will to live, unable to get out of bed, consumed by the despair from losing her husband so suddenly and the fatigue that came with her baby’s illness. With her husband gone, Neome felt as though she had no one to talk to, feeling the weight of her husband’s unforeseen death. Although the pain is still there, Neome has since recovered from the worst of the depression, and received her last dose of medication this June.
At the moment, Neome works as a nursing aide from Mondays through Fridays and earns 180 pesos ($3.60) a day. This adds up to about 4,000 pesos a month, which is clearly not enough for a family with four children. Following her husband’s death, she is the sole breadwinner for the family and has no other source of income, Neome is concerned for the well-being of her children and wants to be able to look after them until college.
Neome's loan application is for 7,000 pesos that will help her begin farming a one-hectare area of unused land; 5,000 pesos from the loan will be used to purchase seedlings and 2,000 pesos will pay for plowing. Peanuts are known to be very favorable for intercropping with corn, for the peanut plants nourish the soil thus eliminating the need to purchase fertilizer for the corn. Besides saving money, this has a long-term advantage, for continued use of fertilizer eventually damages the soil, making the land unusable in the future. The usual harvest is twice a year and the harvested peanuts will be sold to earn income, while the corn will be for family consumption, reducing their monthly food expenses.
With the loan from the PSHF, Neome’s income will increase and she will be able to provide for her family, save for her children’s education, and make the repayments on the loan. The death of her husband was sudden and tragic, and she still needs more time to heal her wounds, but this loan will provide her with new, important earnings that can help her fulfil her dream of supporting her four children.
PSHF Negros Oriental