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DSWD urges marginalized families to avail of livelihood program amid Covid-19 crisis

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Amid the expected slowdown in the country’s economy, the poor families could access the livelihood program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Regional Director Rebecca Geamala of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas called on the marginalized sector in the region to avail of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), which provides a grant to the beneficiaries.

“We can assist those families who are affected by the current crisis,” Geamala said during the Mugstoria Ta aired on the Facebook page of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV).

According to Geamala, the DSWD has allocated P150 million for the SLP in Central Visayas.

SLP is DSWD’s livelihood program that is open to all eligible poor, vulnerable and marginalized households.

Geamala said this program helps improve the socio-economic conditions of poor households and communities through accessing and acquiring necessary assets to engage in and maintain thriving livelihoods.

“So our beneficiaries will identify what type of projects they want to engage in, make a proposal and we will assess for possible funding,” she shared.

Those who are interested to avail of this livelihood grant may visit the nearest field office of DSWD in their area and seek assistance from their project development officers (PDOs).

“Our PDOs will help them in the process and assess their proposals,” Geamala added.

Under SLP, beneficiaries are given the option to register in either the Microenterprise Development (MD) track or the Employment Facilitation (EF) track after participating in social preparation and capacity-building activities.

The microenterprise program provides a maximum of P15,000 grant to an eligible beneficiary. The funding will depend on the viability of the submitted proposal.

Geamala said beneficiaries usually engage in community-based micro-enterprises such as sari-sari stores, hog raising, and vending.

“Through this, we are helping beneficiaries attain a sustainable livelihood, augment their income and provide for their needs,” she said.

The projects of the SLP beneficiaries are monitored and they are provided guidance on how to make their livelihood sustainable.

Geamala noted that some SLP beneficiaries were able to earn a living amid the COVID-19 crisis.

These include four SLP associations in Toledo City; Badian, Cebu; Cogon Norte, Loon, Bohol; and Basay, Negros Oriental; and an SLP graduate in Argao Cebu.

These SLP beneficiaries were engaged in rag and dressmaking but their business was affected with the implementation of the community quarantine.

So, DSWD-7 called on them to produce facial masks instead since there was a shortage at the time.

Qualified participants for the micro-enterprise track must be at least 16 years old, while those for the employment facilitation track must be 18 years old upon employment, as required by labor laws.

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