Growth even in dry season

Posted on May 6, 2022

Growth even in dry season

Emma mans her family’s dried fish store in Calumpang market while her husband works behind the scenes, processing different kinds of bulads like posit, sapsap, and dilis.

The Philippine Sea produces a bountiful of fish, which residents from seaside towns turn into daing or tuyo (dried fish). The traditional Filipino process of making daing or tuyo only uses wind, sunlight, and salt for a period of time. Because of its affordability and availability, dried fish becomes a Filipino favorite.

Emma Luwague from General Santos City sells a type of dried fish locally known as bulad.  She has been a bulad vendor for almost seven years in Calumpang market, known as the capital for all kinds of dried fish in their province.

Her business partner is her husband. While Emma Sells different types of bulad, such as pandawan, barilison, pusit, sapsap, dilis, and balat ng bariles in the market, her husband is busy processing the fresh fish into dried fish. They work hard together to support the needs of their three children.

The couple experienced a lot of dry seasons in their lives. In 2021, they house along with their sari-sari store and computer shop caught fire. All their belongings burned down. Emma was devastated because she thought that this could be the end. However, she regained her strength when CARD SME Bank helped her to get up again.

Emma has been a client of CARD SME Bank for almost twelve years. CARD SME Bank is a thrift bank under CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), a group of organizations with a mission of ending poverty in the Philippines. CARD SME Bank supports micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by growing and sustaining businesses and empowering women and their families through its products and services.

Since Emma is a CARD SME Bank client, she also has access to avail non-insurance products from CARD MRI Insurance Agency (CaMIA), also a member institution of CARD MRI. This agency helped her to cope with her loss of assets.

She received a total of PhP 10,000 from her Kabuklod Plan, an insurance product of CaMIA that covers personal accident, funeral benefits, and fire cash assistance that can be availed for only PhP 500 per year. She was also given an additional PhP 30,000 as a claims payment from her Sagip Plan, a family insurance package with three insurance benefits all in for only PhP 2,000. The plan envelopes personal accidents, funeral benefits, and covers the damage to the house due to fire and natural calamities like typhoons, floods, and earthquakes. Emma used the fund so that their family can stand up again from this tragedy.

Emma is grateful that after everything she went through, she still has her bulads business. However, this required a higher capital to maintain. Emma currently has a loan of PhP 150,000 from CARD SME Bank and this is what she is now using as she continues her business. Aside from bulad, she also now has her product of dayok, or fish paste, a fermented fish that is also approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Emma believes that her family will get back what they lost little by little. In the end, the sacrifices that they are making will be worth it and together with CARD MRI, they will rise again.