Photo: Department Of Social Welfare And Development

While the coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the economy of the country, it has ironically provided an opportunity for some people to come up with sustainable livelihood program in Central Visayas. Many resilient Filipinos have taken advantage of the situation and were able to address the surfacing demands for products and services amidst the pandemic.

With this, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas allotted a P15-million budget for this year’s Sustainable Livelihood Program for Filipinos in the marginalized sector – who are critically affected by the community quarantine. The Regional Head of DSWD-7, Rebecca Geamala, shared during the online presser hosted by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) that families who belong to the informal economy (not part of the formal labor force) can apply for this livelihood grant from the agency.

About the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD

The Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD has long-provided opportunities for income-generating activities and livelihood development since 2011. The aim of this program is to reduce poverty and inequality among Filipinos by generating employment among poor households and by moving highly vulnerable households towards economic stability. This program has grown from serving 46,000 families in 2011 to 340,000 in 2015.

During the online presser, Geamala said that this newly allocated budget for Central Visayas hopes to improve the socio-economic conditions of poor households by giving them access to thrive for a new livelihood.

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

How to apply for DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program

Individuals who are interested to avail of the livelihood grant may visit the nearest field office of DSWD and seek assistance for the assigned Project Development Officers. The PDO will help in processing and assessing their livelihood proposal.

Approved beneficiaries are given the option to register for Microenterprise Development track or Employment Facilitation track – after they participate in the social preparation and capacity-building activities. Participants for MD track must be at least 16 years old while those pursuing EF track must be 18 years old upon employment. This is to follow the legal employment standards.

While the funding may defer depending on the viability of the proposed livelihood, eligible beneficiaries are provided with the maximum budget of P15,000. Through this, the beneficiaries may be able to augment their income and sustainably provide for all their needs. Usual community-based micro-enterprises include sari-sari store, hog raising, and vending.

It is also important to note that under the SLP, two members per household may avail of the program but each shall pursue different program tracks. If the applicant is identified as poor, he or she may directly proceed with the succeeding SLP activities. However, if the applicant is tagged as illegible but has been affected by the onslaught of the pandemic, the department will refer him/her to other appropriate institutions of the government for assistance.

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