How to make the most out of your ‘ayuda’ amid pandemic

    Recent reports say that 13.9 million low-income Filipino families have received the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) cash subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

    Many have been reliant on this cash aid because many Filipinos have lost their jobs and other means of living as soon as quarantine restrictions were imposed in the country.

    During these trying times, it is crucial to wisely manage the government’s cash aid or “ayuda,” or your money in general, down to the single centavo in order to save money for the future.

    Here are some of the things that you can do to maximize your money amid the pandemic.


    Why spend all of your quarantine time watching all the shows on Netflix when you can take online courses that can be useful for you in the future? After all, there will still be life and work after the pandemic.

    Use the time and some of that money for baking or cooking classes, technical lessons that catch your interest like coding or programming, or even some short courses from the Technical Education and Skills Development Program (TESDA). TESDA is offering online courses on how to make washable face masks and protective suits that are a sure hit with this pandemic. You can drop by their website and check out their training programs.

    Upskilling is the thing right now!


    The pandemic brought not only a health crisis but also an economic crisis as well. Non-essential businesses are forced to shut down from left to right.

    But looking at the brighter side of things, many small businesses, particularly those selling food, emerged and stood strong amid the pandemic with the help of Filipinos’ natural creativity when it comes to selling goods.

    Food delivery services almost became an essential service as people are cooped up and would rather pay a fee to get food delivered in their doorsteps than to buy it themselves outside.

    If you look at the Facebook Marketplace, I can assure you that the first thing you’ll see are people selling “merienda” or snacks — food items like leche flan, ube, crinkles, and frozen goods, among others.

    You can start a small business even with a small capital (We’ll talk more about this in the succeeding article). Promote it online and you’ll have yourself a moneymaking business in no time.


    Instead of spending your ayuda on just the basic necessities, why not set aside a certain amount to buy and sell pre-loved items? That will help you generate income rather than relying on the government or people for aid. You can search for pre-loved items on Facebook groups, have them refurbished, and sell them again at a higher price.

    Try posting them on your social media accounts to sell to your own network or friends or put all of them up on buy-and-sell websites.


    If you don’t want to risk your ayuda, I can’t blame you. We are living in uncertain times, and no one can tell when all of these will be over. Good thing, we now have e-wallets where you can keep your money without worrying.

    E-wallets are versatile mobile apps that allow you to reload your prepaid account and pay bills while earning points and rebates without frequently leaving the house, saving your money from being spent on public transport and saving you from being exposed to COVID-19.

    Some e-wallets are even partnered with large banks to enable you to save your money with zero initial deposit, no minimum maintaining balance, and zero service fees. One of these is GCash with GSave which also offers 3% interest rate, higher than how much most banks offer, which is less than 1%. More than that, you can offer to pay your neighbors water, electricity and telco bills, just to name a few. Just make sure you charge a “convenience fee”. After all, you’re saving them a trip from going out and spending on commute fare, saving hours of time in traffic and keeping them safe from the pandemic.   

    With the help of e-wallets, you can make sure that your ayuda or any amount that you left for savings is in good hands and earning money for your future.


    There is literally a ton of things you can do with just a small capital, either from your ayuda or your hard earned savings. Buying and selling goods is just one of them.

    You can go to the Pasig Market to the “bagsakan” area at the back of the wet market early in the morning around 4am to buy fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices, then set-up shop in front of your house for your neighbors to buy. Since most are studying or working from home, demand for home cook food remains higher than ever. Avoid buying meat or fish unless you have a large freezer where you can keep it. Meat and fish, while essential, will spoil too easily without refrigeration. Also make sure to buy just enough vegetables for the day so there isn’t any spoilage. Anything left over you can cook for your household.


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