Sari-sari store owners from Samar and Leyte underwent a series of training under Project PREMIUM to strengthen their business skills.

This is a story permanently etched into our collective memories: a story that tells how Supertyphoon Yolanda — known to the rest of the world as Haiyan — brought communities down as it swept through the country on November 7, 2013, leaving behind 6,300 dead and over 4 billion dollars’ worth of damages in its wake.
But the survivors soon found an unlikely symbol of resilience and hope: sari-sari stores.
An iconic sight for Filipinos, the sari-sari store functions not just as a convenience store where residents restock their pantries, it also functions as a place where they can get together and share their stories.
It is because of this unique nature that Project Bagong Araw PREMIUM, a program made possible by the Government of Canada and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, in partnership with the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Inc., MicroVentures Foundation, Inc. (HAPINOY), and Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines, Inc. (RIMANSI), decided to bring the sari-sari store — and the women behind it — to the forefront in its campaign towards rebuilding Leyte and Samar’s economies.
To date, Project Bagong Araw PREMIUM has equipped over 2,400 beneficiaries with knowledge on business management skills, cashflow monitoring, product diversification, business continuity planning, and disaster preparedness, with its graduates — affectionately dubbed PREMIUM Graduates] — singing the program’s praises.
“Nahubog ako doon sa mga naituro sa amin. Mas natutunan ko kung paano ko patakbuhin ‘yong negosyo ko” Tita Alma, a beneficiary from Basey, Samar said.
“Akala ko kagaya lang siya ng iba na nangangakong tutulong…Pero seryoso sila na maging partner ng mga negosyante” Gilbert Godio, one of The Bagong Araw Philippines PREMIUM project graduates from Catbalogan, Samar, says.
As a way to conclude the program’s successful run in Samar and Leyte, the Bagong Araw Philippines PREMIUM project will hold a caravan on the 24th of January as its culminating activity, with the event — to be held at the Leyte Academic Center in Palo, Leyte — expected to initiate partnerships among key players towards a more resilient supply flow chain in their respective communities.
This is a story permanently etched into our memories: a story that tells how Supertyphoon Yolanda brought entire communities down after rampaging through the country on the 7th of November 2013.
But there’s another story as well: a story that tells how even the humblest ventures can uplift communities and help them get back on their feet. (PR)