ROXAS City, Capiz is home to many fisherfolks. Dubbed as the seafood capital in the Philippines, fishing is one of the major livelihood activities that support the daily living of many household in the city.
The fishes caught by the fishermen are either sold directly to the wet market or processed into tinapa (smoked fish) or tuyo (salted dried fish). Dumulog is the well-known barangay in Roxas City where variety of quality dried fishes from the tiniest to the largest dried fish are produced.
Cecelia Tamon, one of the residents of the barangay, witnessed how the processing and selling of dried fish in their barangay helped her neighbors succeed. Her family is also selling dried fish, which actually supported in providing the daily needs of their family.
Come the time when Cecelia got married. She decided to put up her own dried fish store in 2005 out of her savings. Eventually, this has become their source of income on top of the earnings her husband generates from driving a jeepney.
When Cecelia was able to establish regular customers, she thought of expanding her business to cater the growing demand of the market. Unfortunately, she was not able to pursue her plans because she needs to manage their cash flow well.
“I had to consider the needs of my children first especially that they were still in school at the time. Expanding could be a do or die. So I have to make sure that all the decisions I will make will not compromise our family especially that in expanding a business a huge capital is needed,” said Cecelia.
Luckily, a friend recommended her to join CARD Bank, a microfinance-oriented rural bank that support micro, small, and medium enterprises. She felt some hesitations at first but because of her husband’s strong support and approval, she joined the bank in 2008. She was able to borrow an initial loan of PhP5,000.00 to expand her business.
“I used the loan to buy loads of fish to process more dried fish. I am also thankful to the weekly center meeting CARD Bank is organizing because I learned how to manage our finances well,” she added.
Now, Cecelia has grown her business and is generating employment among her neighborhood. She has 10 workers for her tinapa business and soon plans to hire more to help them also earn income and eventually move themselves out of poverty.
“This line of business may be smelly but if you just persevere, you’ll end up smelling the scent of success,” she concluded.