Press Releases
With DOLE’s Help, Ex-Child Laborer in Pangasinan Turns Fashion Into Passion
She was only 15 years old when the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 1 (DOLE RO1) learned about her labor as an ukay-ukay vendor in Bayambang, Pangasinan. She was earning a measly P80.00 per day, assisting customers wanting to find fashion gems in a hoard of used clothings.   
 
But Jannah Mae De Vera, now 17 years old, was unaware her work was against the law. “I really just wanted to earn additional income and help my family,” she confided. 
 
Jannah’s father is a driver, her mother a nanny. “I belong to a poor family, and I knew I needed to help.” 
 
In 2018, as DOLE rolled out its Child Labor Profiling through its Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program, Jannah was among the first child laborers identified in the region. With the help of the Local Government Unit of Bayambang, Jannah and her family were assisted and provided with intervention, in an aim to pull the young lady out from child labor.
 
Through DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program, her parents Oscar and Nova were given Sari-Sari store livelihood starter kit amounting to P5,000. 
 
Now, their Sari-Sari Store earns P500 daily average. Through the family members’ collective effort, the livelihood was sustained and improved. “If business is good, our store can earn as much as P14,000 per month,”Janna shared. 
 
Helping in the family’s livelihood also honed Janna’s entrepreneurial mindset even further. In her previous job in the ukay-ukay shop, she learned that there’s so much potential in the fashion industry. 
 
And so she asked from her parents a portion of the Sari-Sari store’s earnings. She then sold phone cases to friends, tutored a cousin, until she was able to earn the amount she needed to buy the thing that will help her stitch up her dreams: a sewing machine. 
 
A fashionista at heart, Jannah had a goal: to turn her fashion into passion. Soon after, that passion turned into a viable economic undertaking.   
 
She now tranforms ukay-ukay clothes into stylish, fashionable wears. She buys old, oversized shirts from various ukay-ukay shops in her town, cuts them, reimagines them, and turns them into fashion masterpieces such as blouses, skirts, and other Instagrammable outfits. 
 
She sells her re-worked fashion items online, particularly in her IG shop @Tropicalvntg.ph. Her model? Herself. 
 
“I learned the skill myself. Thanks to Youtube, I learned the basics of dressmaking and fashion design,”Jannah shares. 
 
She sells her items for P150 to P190. She began with 30 items three months ago, and as demand grew, she now creates over 80 sets of the fashion wears. She can earn as high as P12,000 per month through this side hustle. 
 
“Mama helps me in the packaging of the items. Papa is my driver whenever I go for a ‘hunt’ in ukay-ukay shops, and when I need to send out orders,” the young entrepreneur tells. Meanwhile, Jannah’s siblings Angelica, 24, and Gerald, 21, are helping their ‘bunso’ in marketing the business.  
 
Her fashion brand has not only reached fellow fashionistas from all over the country, but even abroad. Just recently, she shipped a package to a buyer from Pennsylvania, USA. 
 
Jannah’s parents strictly oversee that their daughter’s ‘passion for fashion’ does not interfere with her education. She attends to her online classes and completes her modules from morning up to 4pm, takes a break, and then channels her inner fashion designer by 6pm to 8pm daily.  
 
An honor student, she is now Grade 12 at Bayambang National High School. Part of her income goes to her savings for her college education. “I plan to take up Nursing, and so I’m saving up for college,”Jannah reveals. 
 
Looking back, Jannah says being a former child laborer was a blessing in disguise. “Through that, I was referred to DOLE, whose interventions were the building blocks of the blessings my family is now enjoying.” Through hardwork, perseverance and Faith, she is determined to help her family, and achieve her dreams – one OOTD at a time. END/Justin Paul Marbella.

[Back]
[Print]
2021-06-30
RD Evelyn R. Ramos
Sumangbay kayo! Because we want to serve you better, we have built our website.
Contact us:
Name

Your Email

Title/Subject

(Maximum characters: 50)
You have characters left.

Your Message

(Maximum characters: 300)
You have characters left.