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Parish sponsors local trade fair

PILI, Camarines Sur --- The St. Raphael the Archangel Parish (SRAP) here, refused to give in to the Covid-19 pandemic that toppled big and small businesses and came up with one of the best solutions to help small-scale entrepreneurs recover.

Under the stewardship of parish priest, Rev. Fr. Wilmer Tria, the parish’s spacious lawn gave way to “Tiendecitas” or small stores that feature a variety of locally-made products, farm and agri produce, plants, customized facemasks ,and t-shirts including decorative items made by members of the community.

Tiendecitas’ grand opening was held Sept. 18 at Patio San Rafael, San Antonio, Pili, Camarines Sur. The simple occasion was graced by the parish’s partners headed by the local government of Pili, Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Camarines Sur.

“This is a weekly event from September to December. We want to showcase the local products through these small stores and made them available to our churchgoers and parishioners and give them the chance to bring home something after attending the mass. I realized the need to give our parishioners the opportunity to come up with means to economically step up after being hit by this pandemic, thus “Tiendecitas” was conceptualized and eventually realized,” Tria said.

Tria also dispelled fear that it could be an avenue for a possible spread of the virus as they have also issued protocols and will give constant reminders to the participants and the parishioners to observe basic health protocols.

“The church is in charge of the formation of conscience. We believe that our parishioners are responsible and know how to behave themselves. So first is internal discipline and other than that, of course we have our constant reminder to them,” Tria said.

Mayor Tomas P. Bongalonta, who graced the event, expressed his full support to the parish’s endeavor. He that the LGU is grateful to the initiative of the parish to give employment and livelihood opportunities especially to Pilinos who either lost their jobs or whose main source of livelihoods were greatly affected by the pandemic.

DA regional director Rodel Tornilla, represented by Adelina Losa, also expressed his full support to Fr. Tria’s initiative and highlighted the promotion of agricultural products to help the farmers.

DTI provincial director Edna Tejada committed to give technical assistance to the participants thru various trainings and seminars on packaging and labelling, product development, pricing and costing, how to start a new business, and how to register their business names, among others.

“We hope that this pandemic will not bring us down and on the contrary, stir our desire to face this challenge, most especially for our families,” Tejada said.

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