“Ang paggawa ng mabuti sa kapwa tao ay napakahalaga. Ang Diyos na lang ang magbabalik sa atin ng kasuklian. Ibigay lang po natin ang katapatan sa kapwa tao.” (Doing good to your neighbor is very important. Let God be the one to repay us. Let us just be honest to others.)
These words of Nanay Elmy T. Medrano reveal her integrity as a person and the reason why she succeeds as a leader.
The 42-year-old sari-sari store owner from San Juan, Ilocos Sur is the first Outstanding Client Leader Awardee under the Agapay Pamilya (Family Care) Category recognized during the 2021 APPEND Leadership Conference. Her impressive list of leadership experiences includes serving 16 clients as a TSPI Center Treasurer for the past four years, facilitating loan repayments of TSPI clients in her community as a TSPI Agent Account System (TAAS) Client-Agent, and overseeing the status of 35 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) members in her barangay and coordinating with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) local representative as a Parent Leader for more than a decade.
Despite the challenges attached to these roles particularly as a 4Ps Parent Leader, she presses on out of her belief that we all have a duty to help others.
“Mahirap ang maging Parent Leader. Minsan nagplano na rin po akong huminto, pero ayaw naman nila ako bitawan. Sa totoo lang, hindi kasi ako makasarili, kaya kahit mahirap sige lang, kasi naniniwala ako na obligasyon ng bawat isa sa atin na tumulong sa iba.” (It is difficult to be a Parent Leader. There came a time when I planned to quit but they refused to let me go. In all honesty, I am not a selfish person, so even if it is challenging, I carry on because I believe each one of us has an obligation to help others.)”
Nanay Elmy’s leadership shines particularly in times of crisis. Instead of avoiding additional responsibility, she chooses to step up in order to serve other women in the community.
A TSPI client since 2009, Nanay Elmy used her initial Php5,000 loan from the TSPI Kabuhayan Program (TKP) to put up her sari-sari store. She transferred to another group that was more accessible for her in 2017. When her new group faced leadership challenges, she volunteered to help by collecting her co-members’ loan payments, becoming instrumental in saving her group from falling apart in the process. Her integrity in safekeeping their funds earned the trust of her fellow members, who later appointed her as their Center Treasurer.
To serve other TSPI clients from other groups in her community, she applied to be a TSPI Client-Agent using TAAS, the in-house mobile loan collection system of TSPI. Her integrity in handling the loan payments of her fellow TSPI clients was vouched by her co-members, Account Officer and Branch Manager.
For Nanay Elmy, “Ang pagiging Client-Agent ng TSPI ay isa po sa halimbawa ng pagsisilbi o paglilingkod sa kapwa at komunidad.” (Being a TSPI Client-Agent is one way to serve others and my community.)
Her servant attitude also influenced her business decisions. She added fruits, vegetables and other basic items to her sari-sari store’s offerings during the pandemic to make these essential items more accessible for her neighbors. She also offered home delivery service to some households, with her husband and two children helping her bring products to their homes.
Her gratitude to TSPI for all the blessings she received since she became a client also fuels her to continue serving. “Nagkaroon po ako ng maliit na sari-sari store, napagawa ko po ang aming bahay at malaking blessing po sa akin at aking pamilya ang pagiging isang agent ng TSPI. Salamat po sa TSPI.” (I was able to establish my small sari-sari store, build our house and being a client agent has really been a huge blessing for me and my family. Thank you, TSPI.)
Nanay Elmy has made a positive contribution not only to TSPI but also to her local community by living a life of integrity and servanthood. As she continues to be blessed for heeding the call to serve, she also blesses and uplifts those around her for the glory of God.