“Kung makadawat sila [sa kwarta sa gobyerno], ila ibutang sa maayo. Kay tiguwang naman ta, kinahanglan nato na maharuhay ug di nata magsalig sa atong bata.”

[If they received money from the government, they should use it well. We are old(my wife and I), so we should be self-sufficient and not depend on our children.]

Once an ice cream peddler at Donna Ice Cream, Samuel Plesidario, 61 years old, leveled up his game as he managed a group of peddlers. He was one of the 120 beneficiaries who received the Livelihood Assistance Grant(LAG) last August 2021. The day he received the assistance, he bought an additional freezer and a motorcycle for purchasing materials. Receiving these graces, Samuel became an answered prayer to peddlers: one of the peddlers A peddler’s child graduated through his hard work. Another peddler paid his debt of two motorcycles. Some resigned from their jobs to peddle ice cream as it paid more. Through SLP, Samuel did achieve not only sustainable income for himself but also for the people around him.

Donna Ice Cream batch to be delivered by peddler

Starting the Business

To make ends meet for his family and his three children, he started as a construction worker in 1985 and harvested crops in his free time. His wife also helps him in harvesting. The income that they make is just enough to pay off their debt. 

In 2022, with the coming of the fourth child, he switched to peddling ice cream, as his peers had suggested. Also, this could sustain his growing family. He met the manager in Maramag, who introduced him to Donald, the Donna ice cream owner. He started to peddle ice cream and earned around 7,000 to 9,000 Php monthly.

Then came that Donald had trusted Samuel in 2015. Samuel made a consignment deal with the owner and rented a place in Don Carlos where Donald delivered the supply of ice cream. Moreover, Samuel realized that he should stop peddling and would hire peddlers of his own. He had started with three peddlers. A year later, it grew to 10 peddlers. This development has made his life easier as he oversees his employees instead of selling ice cream under the sun’s heat.

Samuel handling a peddler a supply of Donna Ice Cream

The pandemic hit. Donna ice cream stopped supplying Samuel. He also lost his peddlers in the lockdown. Through this crisis, he sought assistance from his relatives, asked for rations from the government, and received 6,000 from the Social Amelioration Program.

Then came hope

On August 17, 2021, Samuel Plesidario was one of the 120 beneficiaries of the Livelihood Assistance Grant(LAG) under the Sustainable Livelihood Program(SLP). After receiving the 15,000 Php, he bought Donna ice cream as the business returned as COVID cases declined. His peddlers slowly returned to their work, and Samuel’s income grew from 7,000 to 30,000 per month. 

He bought a freezer to store another batch of Donna ice cream with his profit. He currently has two freezers that store ice cream and two upright freezers to make ice at the end of 2021. The following year, he also bought a motorcycle which helped them purchase salt, ice, and other materials needed by Samuel. With this equipment on hand, their income would grow.

Samuel and his wife, Leonita with the freezer they bought through their business

Mr. Samuel Plesidario is one of the few beneficiaries that took care of his business. Not only did it take care of him, but it also took care of his peddlers. Through his company, they were able to allow helping other workers in a carefree life. Other peddlers achieved milestones in their life because of their job. 

He hopes they could someday buy the lot they are currently renting and renovate their house. Leonita, his wife, also hoped they could branch out at Tulunan, Cotabato; her sister also resides there. 

Looking back, Samuel and his wife have come a long way from being an employee to becoming a beacon of hope for others.