Press Releases
Hope behind the camera – a DOLE livelihood success story

Tacloban City – The livelihood program of the Department of Labor and Employment continues to manifest its value to Filipino workers through the years. In a small town of Balangkayan, Eastern Samar, a livelihood beneficiary’s life was transformed after DOLE helped him during his lowest of lows.

Mr. Roy C. Valera, a former nurse, tried to pursue his passion for photography and videography. He was able to make a living out of it until the COVID-19 pandemic began.

During the height of the pandemic, one of the businesses severely affected was Events Coverage. Due to health protocols and IATF guidelines, face-to-face gatherings were not allowed, giving Roy a low to no income. It became even more difficult when his wife needed to resign from her job as a frontline nurse because of sleep disorder, posing threat to her health condition.

Given the tough situation, Roy contemplated on selling his equipment at a cheaper price just to generate funds for a new business. Just when Roy was at the verge of giving up his love for videography, the DOLE Region 8 through its Eastern Samar Field Office (ESFO) in partnership with the LGU-Balangkayan implemented a diversified livelihood project in which Roy was one of the beneficiaries. With the approval of the said project, on September 23, 2020, he received one (1) unit of Sony A6000 camera worth P20,000.00 for the upgrading of his photography and videography services.

“The DOLE livelihood assistance was the sign I needed for me to decide not to forsake my love for photography and videography. I took the risk and I get to see a brighter futire for me and my family”, said Roy.

After acquiring a good quality camera through DOLE’s livelihood program, Roy saw a better chance at life and an opportunity to re-establish his videography services. Armed with determination to revive his business, he found new clients in graduation portraits since there are no face-to-face graduation ceremonies yet. He offered graduation souvenir package worth P500.00 per graduating students who wished to have a remembrance of their academic milestone amid a pandemic. From that alone, he had a total of 483 clients, giving him a gross sales of P241,500.00 and a net income of P180,000.00.

Through the help also of his growing business, now known as Ryograph Studio, the two-storey residential property where they reside, worth P350,000.00, is now paid in full.

 

The benefit of the DOLE’s grant did not end there as he was able to re-invest the capital of his business. He also bought additional videography equipment to improve the quality of his outputs like new cameras, audio and lighting equipment and lens. Because of this, he was able to hone his talent and skills and found mastery in photography and videography services that slowly brought him to popularity in his own little way, applying the virtues of “pagtitiyaga, pagsusumikap, pagpapakumbaba at panalangin sa Diyos!” 

 

The biggest breakthrough Roy experienced was being able to shoot for the GMA Network shows such as Unang Hirit, Biyahe ni Drew, State of the Nation, Dapat Alam Mo, and the most popular Kapuso mo Jessica Soho. 

 

Because of Roy’s successful videography business, he is able to employ four to five workers for his coverage during tv shows and other special events such as weddings and birthdays, paying them P1,000.00 to P5,000.00 per day, depending on the skills and manpower needs of the event.

 

Now, GMA Network is one of his regular clients. Roy testified that without the intervention from DOLE, he probably wouldn't be able to reach where he is today. His dream career turned to reality and the business that he almost gave up was reborn, sustained and prospered.

 

He said, “I am forever grateful to DOLE for bringing back the hope I almost lost.” End/NRSC with a report from DOLE-ESFO

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2022-03-25
Regional Director

HENRY JOHN S. JALBUENA
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