Philippine Self-Help Foundation

Rosie (61) and Lolito (64) live in one of the interior barangays of Santa Catalina, a coastal town in Negros Oriental. Their home is along a dirt track 6 km from the main road. The Dacquaido couple have ten grown-up children, the youngest of whom is Jan Rose (20) who received a loan (fully repaid) to fund her teachers’ board exam review in September, 2015.

Rosie and Lolito are farmers; they own four hectares of land on which they cultivate sugarcane as a cash crop and maize and vegetables for home consumption. Last March, they harvested their sugarcane and the net proceeds amounted to 30,000 pesos ($650). Their plan had been to use the proceeds to buy seedlings for a new cropping but instead the money was needed to repay debts incurred when Rosie had to be hospitalised twice in recent months with rashes and breathing difficulties. Regrettably, the rashes persist to this day but she has now had a biopsy and the results will be available later this month.

With their savings exhausted, Rosie and Lolito are applying for a loan to buy sugarcane points and to pay for ploughing and fertilisers. This is year one in a cycle of four years; in the first year sugarcane points are planted and in the subsequent three years, the cane regrows from the points so replanting is not required. The first year is of course the most expensive but the couple can still expect to make a small net income and pay back their loan from their harvest in nine months time.

We are pleased to help Rosie and Lolito with their sugarcane farming endeavours. Rosita has borrowed from us before and has always been faithful in her loan repayments. Besides, her own health problems, she is worried about Lolito who has a painful cyst on his jaw. It is hoped that he will be able to see a specialist in Dumaguete, the provincial capital soon and have surgery with a large part of the cost covered by PCSO (a government lotto) and Phil. Health.

Ireen Ingles

PSHF Negros Oriental

May 2016