Philippine Self-Help Foundation

Zosimo and Marites

Marites is a 44-year old 'pan-ting', namely a person who buys fish in bulk and sells it in wet markets or around a neighborhood. Zosimo (49), her common-law partner is a fisherman and they have 10 children; one is married and lives separately, three work away from home on contrctual jobs, and the rest live at home.

The couple occupy a very small house in the coastal community of Inayauan in the southern part of Negros island. The house has two rooms; the room upstairs is for sleeping, and the other one is where the family eats and accepts visitors. They use two kerosene lamps at night as they do not have access to electricity. In the evenings, after supper, Marites and her children go to a neighbour’s house to watch television.

Marites was the third in a farming family of eight. She grew up in Escalante in the northern part of Negros Occidental. When she was 19, she went to Bacolod, the provincial capital, to work as a waitress in an eatery. Zosimo was a frequent customer in the eatery and he and Marites became close. Two years later, they decided to live together and settled in Inayauan, Zosimo’s hometown.

The couple have received three loans from the PSHF; 4,000 pesos in 2007 for Marites’ fish vending capital, 6,000 pesos in 2008 for the repair of Zosimo’s boat, and 6,000 pesos in 2010 to repair the family’s house. Each loan had a positive impact on the life of the family.

Now, Zosimo and Marites need our help again. Zosimo’s fishing boat is worn out after six years of use. Indeed for two months now, Zosimo has been using his neighbour’s fishing boat but this has meant a reduction in his earnings. With his motorised boat, he earned 3,000 pesos a week from five days of fishing, but now he earns 2,000 pesos a week as his neighbour’s boat has no engine. Zosimo has to row and thus cannot go far out to sea where the bigger fish are to be found. He also pays a rent representing 20 percent of his catch to his neighbour.

Considering the above the couple came to us and applied for a loan of 15,000 pesos to build a new boat. They will use the amount to pay Zosimo’s construction assistant and to buy the materials for a new boat such as plywood, wood, nails, wood glue, paint, helm, and a propeller. It will take 15 days to build the boat, and when it is done, Zosimo will attach his old but functional engine to the new boat. Zosimo and Marites expect the boat to last for six years. The  couple consider the PSHF a big blessing to their family, and on our part, we are very happy to help such hardworking and devoted parents make a good living from fishing.

Glitter H. Moreño

PSHF Negros Occidental

August 2012


Zosimo and Marites with their youngest child.