Tag Archive | "Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP)"

SLP releases more than 185M to its qualified participants


As a capability program that provides access to opportunities to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of poor, vulnerable and marginalized communities, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) never stops providing livelihood assistance to qualified participants in the region.

The different Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participants of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental pose with gladness after receiving their SLP grants.

The Field Office has assessed, validated and approved a total of 1,850 project proposals within the region.

As of February 2019, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the SLP released a total amount of Php 185,126,067.72 to 31,073 qualified SLP participants of region 7.

In Cebu province, a total of Php 81,159,200.00 was released to 17,714 SLP participants, of which 2,237 are Pantawid beneficiaries and 15,477 are Non-Pantawid beneficiaries.

A total of Php 33,231,586.22 was released in Bohol province to 4,162 participants which accommodated 2,559 Pantawid beneficiaries and 1,603 Non-Pantawid beneficiaries.

In Negros Oriental, the DSWD SLP released the amount of Php 62,695,281.50 to 8,463 participants with 4,522 Pantawid beneficiaries and 3,941 Non-Pantawid beneficiaries while Siquijor province released the amount of Php 8,040,000.00 to 734 participants with 358 Pantawid beneficiaries and 376 Non-Pantawid beneficiaries.

This assistance from the government is used for different livelihood projects like rice retailing, sari-sari store, general merchandise, hog raising, cattle fattening, bigasan, upcycling materials, water refilling stations, handicraft making, food processing, egg-laying, duck raising, balot production, furniture making, home décor making, fashion accessories making, different kinds of food production and others.

The government through DSWD strives in providing livelihood projects like SLP to the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged residents in the region. Now, the department continues giving grants to them in Central Visayas. ###

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DSWD SLP’s Likhang Hiraya staged at Parkmall


The Department of Social Welfare and Development Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) recently opened its weeklong trade fair and photo exhibit on March 11, 2019 at Parkmall rotunda, Mandaue City.

Dubbed as Likhang Hiraya: Pangarap patungong PagSibol, the activity aims to strengthen and increase the public’s awareness and familiarity to the SLP’s works, and its impact to the beneficiaries.

Models Hazel Jade Ybañez (left) and Fernando Villarin Jr. (right), SLP Project Development Officers, wear these chic and stylish raffia cocktail dress and modern raffia barong outfit made out of raffia palm trees from the municipality of Danao, Bohol. The creation of these unique apparels is supported and promoted by the local government unit of Danao.

“We wanted to increase the knowledge and information of the general public about the SLP of DSWD,” said OIC-Regional Director Rebeccca P. Geamala.

Adopting this year’s communication tagline, SIBOL: Solidarity and Inclusivity in Building Opportunities for Livelihoods, the program wants to promote its advocacies in relation to sustainable livelihood, and its multifaceted socio-economic impacts to people and communities. It also aims to highlight the benefits of strong partnership and collaboration of people and institutions in the program’s pursuit of sustainable livelihood.

OIC-Director Geamala added, “I dream and desire that our products will not only reach region 6, 7 and 8 in the Visayas cluster, hopefully, it will be brought to other countries. And, we will make these associations very strong and self-sustaining that can create more members and would employ others to ensure that they too will be accessed to basic services like income generation.”

The weeklong product display, photo exhibit and trade fair at Parkmall started on March 11, 2019 and will end on March 15, 2019.

“We are banking on the power of images and visual exhibition as effective communication tools to further educate and engage the general public’s interest in SLP,” said Dir. Restituto B. Macuto, SLP National Program Manager.

Highlights in the opening salvo included a launching of SLP book entitled Bidlisiw: SLP Compendium of Stories of Change; a demonstration of fashion necklace making out of shell covered by GMA 7’s Cecille Quibod-Castro for her DIY program; and, a very unique and creative presentation of products solely made by the SLP program participants through a fashion show.

The SLP Project Development Officers (PDOs) sashayed down the ramp with purely local and handmade products created out from the participants’ creative ideas and visions like sinamay products of Bacong, Negros Oriental; raffia products of Danao, Bohol; shells products of Olango Island, Lapu-Lapu City; Cebu and a fashioned dress out of recycled materials of Siquijor, Siquijor.

According to Director Macuto, Likhang Hiraya is a very timely and fitting celebration because it highlights that behind the tedious processes of the SLP there is remarkable beauty and art in what the DSWD SLP do and achieve together with participants. ###

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Caohagan SLPA: Mag Pan Bisaya na!


“Daghan ganahan sa mga nagpuyo diri sa Caohagan ganahan sa among pan bisaya nga sila pa gani ang mo follow up namo nga magluto mi, sila gyu’y mo una og ingon namo ana. Mao ng nadasig pud mi nga maghimo og pan. Tungod ana, adunay dugang kalambuan sa among asosayon diri sa Caohagan (Many from our neighborhood like the bread. Actually they are the ones who tell us to make bread and encourage us to do our best every single day. Because of that support from the community, we became fruitful),” said Minerva Manoy, Caohagan Pan Bisaya Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) Treasurer.

The proud mothers and members of the Caohagan Pan Bisaya SLPA.

The Caohagan Pan Bisaya SLPA is situated in Brgy. Caohagan, Olango Island, Lapu-Lapu City. The association is composed of 48 members with 5 men and 43 women who are doing the business.

Since the members are living in the island, most of them rely their main source of income through fishing. This kind of hard work does not guarantee enough earnings for their day-to-day needs.

In May 2016, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) granted the Caohagan Pan Bisaya SLPA the amount of Php278,037.40 for the association to venture another livelihood project. The group officially started their business in July of the same year.

Since then, the group has found loyal customers for their bread. Some are local and others are foreigners like Korean, Japanese and American tourists visiting the island. For over 2 years of running the business, the members see the progress of their Pan Bisaya livelihood project.

But, what is really Pan bisaya?

“Ang ilang asosasyon sa SLP naggamit og pugon o tradisyonal nga pamaagi sa pagluto og pan bisaya. Nag dugang sab sila og ispisyal nga sagol sama sa tuno ug desiccated coconut. Pan bisaya kini tungod sa ilang pamaagi sa pagluto (The association call it pan bisaya because they use a traditional kiln in making bread and they add special ingredients like coconut milk and desiccated coconut to make the bread more flavorful),” said Chuck G. Mutia, SLP Monitoring Project Development Officer.

With this, Brgy. Captain Ranilo C. Abayan of Caohagan supports the SLPA by allowing them to use the store area for free with corresponding memorandum of agreement. This has inspired the group to make pan bisaya daily.

The encouragement they get from the community folks and from the tourists is one of the reasons why the lives of the members become more productive.

The way they manage the business helps the members benefit from it together with their families.

Sukad naabot ang SLPA diri, dako gyud nig natabang namo kay tungod nga sa wala pani sya, dili gyud mi kahibalo mo gama og mga pan, di mi kahibaw mugama anang unsay mga menu, procedure ani niya. Kung ang mga membro maglisod gani unya wala sila’y lain magamit, makaduol gyud sila sa asosasyon kay naa man silay madawat nga ginansya (Since SLPA came to our place, it has helped us a lot. Before, we had no idea about the ingredients and how to process this bread. When it came, it helped improve the lives of the members whenever they need some amount for their families), said Minerva Manoy, SLPA Treasurer.

Dako kaayo mi’g pasalamat sa mga kadagkoan sa DSWD nga sila usa pud nga ni padasig kanamo nga kining asosasyon ma improve gyud. Kay bisan kalisod pag-atubang ani sama aning sa dakong bawod, sila mauri gyud aron mugiya namo unsaon pagpalambo aning asosayon (Our heartfelt gratitude to DSWD region 7 for their encouragement. Despite the difficulties the DSWD workers would encounter like the big waves to the island and vice versa, they still come over to help us in strengthening the association),” said Blisilda A. Mellino, SLPA President.

The association will continue to strive hard to make Caohagan Pan Bisaya SLPA a productive and successful one. ###

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Amlan SLPAs: Empowered to empower others


“Dili lang kami ang na-empowered ani nga kalihukan, apil na sab ang among mga bana (This is not only empowering us, but it also empowers our husbands),” beams one of the members of the Pantawid Pamilya households in the municipality of Amlan, Negros Oriental.

Amlan is a 4th class municipality of Negros Oriental. It is composed of eight (8) barangays namely: Bio-os, Jantianon, Jugno, Mag-abo, Poblacion, Silab, Tambojangin and Tandayag. Located in the eastern coast of the province, fishing is its major industry. It also produces high value crops such as mango, coconut and sugarcane.

According to the 2015 census, Amlan has around 23,000 population of which, 922 are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) partner-beneficiaries. Most of the members are plain housewives and some are engaged into small scale enterprises like food vending.

In 2016, there was an assessment conducted to the 4Ps partner-beneficiaries in the municipality. The result showed that these members earned around Php 150-200 a day which is not enough to provide the daily needs of a family. Given this situation, there is a need to implement a livelihood project for additional income.

In the first quarter of 2016, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) introduced the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to the partner-beneficiaries. Jesse Jan. A. Plaza, SLP project development officer (PDO) assigned in the area organized the six (6) SLP associations with 93 participants. Out of 93, 10 are males and 83 are females.

On May 12, 2016, the DSWD granted a livelihood project with a total amount of Php 930,000.00 through the SLP Micro-Enterprise Development (MD) track Seed Capital Fund (SCF) to the six associations- Cañete Jantianon Pantawid SLPA, Poblacion Pantawid Livelihood SLPA, Mag-abo II Pantawid SLPA, Pantawid of Jantianon SLPA, Mag-abo Pantawid SLP and Pamilyang Pantawid SLPA.

The Cañete Jantianon Pantawid SLPA with 14 members received the amount of Php 140,000 for their individual business. Mag-abo II Pantawid SLPA with the same number of members also received Php 140,000, the Pantawid of Jantianon SLPA with 8 members received Php 80,000, Mag-abo Pantawid SLPA with 13 members received Php 130,000. The Pamilyang Pantawid SLPA with 19 members has received Php 190,000 and the Poblacion Pantawid Livelihood SLPA who has 25 members received Php 250,000. These associations are located 3-5 kilometers away from each other.


SLP members’ participation to Pantawid Rice Subsidy in the municipality

Implementation

Before they were granted with a livelihood project, Mr. Plaza talked to the members to create a union of the Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPA) in the municipality. He aims to bond these groups for a greater and wider reach of opportunities in sustaining their livelihood business.

With no hesitations, all members supported the proposal.

The implementation of DSWD’s Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) in Amlan served as an eye opener to the members to pursue the union of the SLPAs. This provided them opportunities to expand their market and go beyond their individual livelihood projects.

This eventually paved the way for the members to conceptualize a strategy to be able to participate in the municipality’s SFP procurement activities. Yet, for them to participate, a substantial amount of financial capital is required which was considered to be the greatest challenge of the associations.

With this, the association members strongly advocate among each other the realization of the union of the six (6) SLPAs in the municipality. Hence, the United Organization of Amlan (UOA) was formed on June 20, 2016 as per DOLE registration.

In the 3rd quarter of 2016, a series of consultation meetings and general assemblies of the SLP participants happened. During these days, Mr. Plaza and Pantawid Municipal Link Jocelyn A. Balansag gave inputs on values formation, leadership, and other capacity-building topics to the members in order for them to learn and be confident in managing their livelihood project with authority and pride.

Since the program participants wanted to make their business venture to be successful, they elected their officers who would oversee the business operation.

Each member then shared 50% or Php 5,000.00 of the seed capital fund they received from DSWD to the organization to raise the start-up capital for their business. The other half or Php 5,000.00 would be used for their individual projects.

These efforts which are geared toward attaining sustainable livelihood for their families, the members strongly supported the organization’s plan for their business. The trust and confidence they have for each other have been strengthened.

In September 2016, the members’ contribution reached Php 465,000.00. Good enough to start their participation to the SFP. 

Handling 93 SLP participants is never easy. The road to reaching the goals are surprisingly demanding and challenging.

In October 2016, the United Organization of Amlan participated in the bidding of goods for SFP in the municipality. However, their participation failed due to non-compliance of bidding requirements. This failure in its first attempt gave them learning insights and served an inspiration to them to do better and be involved again in another procurement activities.

The organization is genuinely united in terms of giving support to the group’s plans and activities. Indeed, optimisms overflow for them to pursue what they have started.

In December 2016, on its second try, the United Organization of Amlan participated in the local shopping of goods for the SFP in the municipality of San Jose. Fortunately, they were awarded as supplier of meat and fish for the implementation of the municipality’s SFP from January – June 2017.

The group extended their efforts in other local government units’ bidding participation. On November 27, 2017, the municipality of Valencia approved the UOA as the SFP supplier of rice, meat, fish and other groceries for the children in Child Development centers. The activity was only for one (1) month yet they earned enough profit from it.

The group never stopped aiming for a greener path. Aside from participating in the SFP implementation, they were also engaged in providing catering services in the municipality of Valencia and its neighboring areas.

In the 3rd quarter of 2017, the UOA was awarded by the DSWD Field Office (FO) VII as the supplier of meals and snacks during the conduct of social preparation activities and Provincial Project Development Assessment in the municipalities of Amlan, Tanjay, San Jose, Manjuyod and Bindoy of Negros Oriental. Also, they catered food during the Amlan’s 2017 Women’s Month Celebration as well as Smoke-Free Awareness activities.

The organization’s livelihood ventures continue to expand.

In February to March 2018, they became the service provider of the Cebu Healthcare Professional (CHP) and DSWD FO VII for the meals of the SLP participants during the one (1) month conduct of Skills Training on Housekeeping NC II.

To date, it is the major regular supplier of rice to Pantawid Pamilya partner beneficiaries in the municipality for their rice subsidy.

Result/Impact

The efforts of all the members in the organization has paid off. Now, the group has its income generating business. Its participation to the Supplementary Feeding Program has opened the windows of economic opportunities, has honed their management and communications skills as well as strengthened the members’ bond and camaraderie.

The members with assigned tasks and responsibilities in the business operation were given Php 150.00 daily honoraria. The butcher takes the pig’s heads as additional share to the Php 150.00 daily honorarium.

This organization has also benefited other Pantawid households in a way that the members decided to buy hogs from them since majority of them are engaged into hog-raising. The organization has guaranteed of a livestock market at a reasonable price. Instead of buying some meat at the markets, the UOA would buy it from the Pantawid hog-raisers at a higher price than of the other local buyers. Thus, the middlemen can no longer come in and at the end of every production cycle, Pantawid members’ income is always guaranteed.

This activity created a chain effect of income augmentation to all participants involved, from the members who invested their financial and human capital to other Pantawid households who are engaged into hog-raising business.

Further, the organization’s catering engagements also created some job opportunities to the members. Service crew are paid at Php 323.00 per day while the cooks are paid at Php 500.00 per day.

To date, the United Organization of Amlan has generated more than Php 100,000.00 profit from all its livelihood engagements. It also acquired new physical assets such as freezer, meat grinder, cook wares, kitchen wares, utensils, food keepers and other kitchen items necessary for the business.

Lessons learned

Processing of documentary requirements to operate a business enterprise is a continuing challenge to the federation officers specifically to Ms. Meriam V. Yaeso, president of United Organization of Amlan. To address this concern, Ms. Yaeso attended orientations conducted by BIR and NFA. Mr. Plaza, assisted her on PhilGEPS Registration and continually provided technical assistance to the officers.

Recently, she was able to secure tax clearance from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. This clearance is a requisite for securing PhilGEPS Certificate (Platinum Membership) since the Blue Membership is no longer applicable. Thus, on December 7, 2018, the group already got the Platinum Membership certification of Philgeps.

In just few months from its conception, the United Organization of Amlan was able to secure the following documents: Business Permit, DOLE Registration, BIR Registration, PhilGEPS (Blue Membership) and NFA License.

Aside from the challenges of processing and complying with the legal documents, some federation officers also experienced conflict with their spouses when they would come home late due to concerns in the project implementation.

Also, the demand to deliver 90 kg of pork every week for the SFP is one of the reasons of their need to extend long hours of search for live hogs to be butchered. Their husbands complained that they can no longer attend to household chores and other demands in their homes. But, with the help of Family Development Sessions and counselling by the Municipal Link to the husbands, these conflicts were eventually resolved.

Upon recent conversation of the members to the officers, they shared that their husbands are no longer complaining. In fact, their husbands were the ones who did the household chores and attend to their children’s needs when they’re not around.

Implication for Replication

Financial capital has always been a major challenge in starting up a business. Yet, this challenge did not hinder the SLPA members’ desire to expand their livelihood project. By investing half of the seed capital for their individual projects, they had shown self-denial: abandoning their own personal interest but considering as well the welfare and betterment of the lives of other Pantawid partner beneficiaries.

The pooling of funds amounting to Php 465,000.00 paved the way to greater opportunities for program participants’ worthy of replication.

The effect of empowering the SLPA members is manifested by the changes experienced by the members and their families such as from being plain housewives to capacitated officers in the organization; from whining husbands to genuine helpmates; from merely focusing on income generation to opening doors of job opportunities to other members, and secured markets for small-scale livestock growers. All these cast light for possible replication of strategy in other areas in Negros Oriental.

The SLP Provincial Coordinator of Negros Oriental Rosana Coritico is constantly encouraging PDOs in other cities/municipalities to develop and capacitate SLPAs to be able to participate in the procurement activities of their respective LGUs and in due time, expand their livelihood projects.

The United Organization of Amlan is now recognized by the Local Government of Amlan as an entity, supplying goods and services to Amlan and to its neighboring municipalities. ###

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The Bondocs: Chipping bananas is our business


Most people love to enjoy bananas for meals or, perhaps, snacks. And this reality has encouraged Adelfa and Challier Bondoc to venture into banana chips production.


Adelfa Bondoc diligently cooks banana chips to sell and deliver to her customers.

The story of the Bondoc’s banana chips business began in 2016, when Adela got the chance to attend a livelihood skills training on banana chips production, initiated by a non-government organization.

But acquiring skills is one thing and financing a business is another thing.

Though Adelfa has acquired the skills, she hesitated to start the business because she had no capital and no equipment to produce banana chips with good quality.

“We barely had enough money to buy food for three meals, let alone put up a capital to start a business,” said Adelfa.

Life was hard for the Bondoc family.  Adelfa was a plain housewife and Challier, a habal-habal driver who also then took extra work as a carpenter and as a mason. Challier’s income of Php 300 to Php 450 a day could not support to feed 7 mouths in the family.

Despite being a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary who received cash grants for their three children’s education and for the family’s health, upon complying with the conditionalities set by the program, the Bondoc family had to find ways to augment their income. The minimal cash grants they have been receiving from the program serve only as augmentation to them.  

The goal to start a business was thought of seriously by the couple and they decided to do it with strong conviction that it might work.

Their dream of giving their children a better life, pushed Adela and Challier to make their first banana chips out from the bananas they harvested from their backyard and sold it to one of the sari-sari stores in barangay Poblacion Candulang, Lila, Bohol.

Their delectable product became popular in their barangay because of the positive feedback from the people who tasted it. The Bondoc’s banana chips were made known through word of mouth.

Delighted of the feedback on their product, Adela and Challier have been motivated to regularly produce their delicious sweetened banana chips. The couple strove to find ways to have the Php 3,000 start-up capital. With this amount, they were able to produce 70 packs, which they delivered within the municipality of Lila.

The demand for their banana chips has increased and they could hardly accommodate all orders because their capital fund was not enough and they lacked the equipment for mass production.

“I am glad that I am given the chance to be part of the Poblacion Candulang Sustainable Livelihood association organized by the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program. Through this, I received a grant of Php 8,335.00. It was sufficient enough to expand our banana chips business,” shared Adelfa, the budding entrepreneur.

The banana chips business has been doing well and from a single sari-sari store, the Bondoc’s banana chips are now displayed in convenience stores in the towns of Valencia, Loay, Dauis, Panglao and Tagbilaran City, all in Bohol.

“We earn Php 18,000 a week for this banana chips business.  Because of this, we are now operating our own sari-sari store and also selling drinking water. We were able to also buy additional production equipment for the banana chips business and a multi-cab for our product delivery to customers.

Makaya man diay pud namo mo-asenso kung maningkamot lang ug magtinabangay para molambo ang negosyo aron mahatagan og maayong edukasyon ang among mga anak. Dako kayo akong pasalamat sa DSWD-SLP kay pinaagi sa ilang tabang nga capital sa akong negosyo, nilambo gyud kini (We can really improve our life by working hard and giving support to the family’s livelihood enterprise to make it flourish. With this, we can now provide good education to our children. I am grateful to DSWD-SLP for the financial assistance to expand our business),” expressed Adelfa.

Adelfa is a Pantawid parent leader, she serves as the direct link between the program and the beneficiaries. She also helps the Municipal Link especially in updating the profile of the beneficiaries and conducting meetings and Family Development Sessions. Adelfa has a big role in the overall implementation of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Her task as a parent leader is voluntary. She gives time to this voluntary work at the same time works hard to earn a decent living.

The success story of the Bondoc family is a manifestation that poor families served by the 4Ps, if given the opportunity to help themselves, with the support from the government and partner agencies would surely succeed.

“Now, I can proudly say that we are chipping our way to success and banana chips is our business,” Adelfa happily expressed. ###

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Lotloton SLPA ventures in sari-sari store


Sa wala pa kami nag-abli sa among tindahan, giingnan nami sa mga tawo diri nga dili ra maabtan og tulo ka buwan among tindahan og mahagba ra kini (Before we opened our store, some people told us that our store would not even reach three months and would eventually close),” said Claudia Malanog, Lotloton Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) President.

Lotloton SLP program participants proudly stand as owners of their Retailing and Merchandising Store.

Those are the harsh words hurled at the program participants of Lotloton SLPA while chasing to achieve their desired livelihood project, the sari-sari store.

Before the livelihood project was implemented in Brgy. Lotloton, Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor, most members used to do farming every day. Some worked as fishermen and laborers, and some members ventured into backyard gardening for them to sustain their family’s basic needs especially for their children who are attending school.

Admittedly, the farmers prayed for another source of income because farming alone is insufficient for their families’ needs.

In September 2016, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) introduced the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to the community folks. The Provincial Coordinator Marilou Cortes and the Implementing Project Development Officer Arnel Casusi conducted the orientation about the program and helped them go through the process.

At the start of the implementation, some residents showed eagerness to be part of the livelihood program. They created a group of people with common interest and goal to establish the project and named it Lotloton Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) Retailing and Merchandising Store.

Members’ active participation in the preparation of the group’s accreditation paid off. It only took them two (2) months to form the group with elected officers and by laws. The officers are Claudia Malanog, President; Antonio Aguinid, Vice President; Marcila Pagente, Secretary; Ruby Arapoc, Treasurer; and Luzviminda Domingues, Auditor. The association is composed of twenty-eight (28) members with twenty-three (23) females and five (5) males. Among the 28 members, only one (1) is non-Pantawid Pamilya grantee.

On November 28, 2016, the DSWD-SLP granted the amount of Php 325,791,000.00 for the SLPA’s livelihood project.

The members expressed their gratitude of having their own sari-sari store. “Sa una, wala mi lain giatubang kundi ang pagpama-ol lang. Karon, pinaagi sa tindahan nga gihatag sa DSWD SLP, aduna mi laing panginabuhian nga pwede namo saligan (Before, we only do farming. Now, because of the assistance given by DSWD-SLP to us, we have an additional source of income),” said Claudia.

Months after the members constructed the building to house their sari-sari store; attended some retailing business seminar conducted by the First Consolidated Bank-Larena branch; and processed the business permit and registration; the association opened the store on August 9, 2017. Some barangay and municipal officials including the Municipal Mayor Gerold Pal-ing witnessed this significant event.

The members take turns in rendering duty at the store. They are also monitored if they follow their policies like proper accounting of items and others. They also agreed not to allow credit yet as they are still starting the store operation.

Within eight months of their operation, the group was able to deposit Php 150,000.00 to their savings account. This means that their business is growing.

In June 2018, the members got their first profit sharing amounting to Php 5,000.00 each.

Kalipay nga walay ikabaylo ang among gibati tungod sa gihatag nga negosyo diri kanamo sa gobyerno pinaagi sa DSWD SLP. Kini among pagadumalaon og maayu (Priceless happiness is what we feel right now because of the livelihood given to us by the government through DSWD SLP. We will judiciously manage this business),” said Antonio. These words prove that criticisms could not hinder them in chasing their dreams when taken as a challenge by the group member to pursue their goal. ###

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BISFFA members: Partnership leads to productive business


In the municipality of Talibon, Bohol, a strong partnership has been forged by Bansan Island Seaweeds Farmer and Fishery Association (BISFFA) with various national government agencies.

Bansan is located in Brgy. Sag, one of the islands barangay of Talibon. It is one of the protected islands in the province where seaweeds and mangroves are growing abundantly.

Some members of the Bansan Island Seaweeds Farmer and Fishery Association (BISFA) cooking together for their seaweed crackers livelihood project.

It is also a home to BISFFA where 72 members are composed of 24 males and 48 females. Of the 72 members, 21 are Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries. This association was organized in September 2012 with a certificate of registration from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to operate their business.

When the Super Typhoon Yolanda struck the country in 2013, it devastated Bansan Island and the rest of the Talibon Group of Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape. The aftermath of Yolanda paved the way to a new partnership of BISFFA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In 2014, the DENR proposed a rehabilitation program on planting of mangroves within the coast of Bansan Island and tapped the association to do the mangrove planting. It provided mangrove seedlings, input materials and payment of labor to the BISFFA members.

The BISFFA members decided to use their earnings from planting mangroves to construct their own pump boat which they can use whenever they travel to the mainland of Talibon.

On the following year, the BISFFA found another partner agency that could help them on their business, the Talibon Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Provincial Office. The office orders tons of seaweed seedlings from BISFFA to be distributed to other seaweed associations around Bohol. It chose BISFFA because it is already DOLE and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) registered and can provide official receipts to any business transactions.

Despite the association`s advancement in seaweeds industry, the island residents remained to be poor. The island does not have its own electric and water supply. The residents buy their drinking water in the mainland at Php 40.00 per gallon. For bathing and washing, they only depend on rainwater. If there is no rain, they buy deep-well water in the mainland at Php 5.00- Php 10.00 per container.

During day time, the residents only rely on battery-operated radio for some entertainments. In the night time, they pay the connection of a privately-owned generator for their electricity from 5pm to 10pm every day. Their payment depends on the kind of electrical power supply they used. It costs Php 10.00 per 10 watts and Php 20.00 for every television connection.

In this situation, poverty is still a major concern of the Bansan Island community folks.

Despite all these problems, some families decided to stay in the island due to its abundance of marine resources especially seaweeds and its potential income generating.

Since there are 21 Pantawid members under the BISFFA, in July 2016, the Project Development Officers (PDOs) of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the DSWD assessed and conducted community economic activities solely with the Pantawid beneficiaries of BISFFA. They found out that these members need further assistance in seaweeds farming.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) funded the association with starter kits covering the complete materials and seedlings needed for them to sustain their livelihood.

The DSWD SLP granted Php 252,174.00 to BISFFA under the Skills Training on Micro-Enterprise Development (MD) track.

Due to the abundance of seaweeds in the island, the association decided to expand their business through making of a new product, the seaweed crackers. The group partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) for its product making, enhancement and development.

These seaweed crackers have 2 varieties of flavor, the natural and cheese flavors. They sell it at Php 20.00 for 50 grams, Php 10.00 for 25 grams and Php 5.00 for 12 grams.

With this business expansion, the local government unit provided them a building for their seaweed cracker production which they could also use as a meeting place. Moreover, the LGU provided at least 15 heads of piglets as additional livelihood income.

For now, the group’s income varies depending on the monthly orders from customers. Their regular customers are the residents, students and other sari-sari store owners in the municipality.

Aside from the DSWD, the association constantly coordinates not only among the group members but also with other agencies like the BFAR, DOLE, DTI, BIR, MAO and the Department of Agriculture (DA) for possible business expansion.

This coordination has enlightened their families whose members are now actively involved in taking individual responsibilities for the business operations and family daily routine. Every morning before the sun is up, the husbands get to check the seaweed plantation together with their older sons. After which, they go fishing while the wives are in charge of harvesting dried seaweeds ready for production process.

In this endeavor, the program participants’ families got multiple income-generating activities from fishing and from raw seaweeds to seaweed crackers.

Despite the individual differences of the BISFFA members, they are able to develop the sense of ownership of their business and deepen their understanding on the value of solidarity which lead to strengthened community ties towards development.

As the association continues operating their business, in May this year, the DOLE released the livelihood assistance worth Php 500,000.00 proposed by the group for the purchase of heavy equipment for seaweed crackers production. The BISFFA is now on the process of purchasing the equipment.

This development has convinced the members that having the right project and right input from partner agencies help their business grow. ###

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Jonalyn Lombrino: Life is better now


Jonalyn Lombrino, 35, lives in the municipality of Minganilla, Cebu. It is an urban area where most of the jobs are found in the malls, mini store, shops, restaurants, and the like earning a minimum wage per day. The competitiveness of people living in the city, made it difficult for Jonalyn Lombrino to look for a job that fits her qualification.

Jonalyn Lombrino attends to a customer who buys medicine from the pharmacy where she works as pharmacy assistant.

She is married to Bobby Lombrino, 41 with whom she has three (3) children namely, Erika Jhane Lombrino, 13, Grade 8 and twins Mary Claire and Claire Anne Lombrino, 11, Grade 6.

Before, Jonalyn worked at a bakeshop as saleslady earning around Php 5,000.00 per month and Bobby is a security guard earning Php 10,000.00 a month.

According to her, life was so difficult knowing that their monthly income is not enough to raise their 3 children.

In January 2017, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of DSWD provided a Skills Training on Pharmacy Services NCII to qualified SLP participants and Jonalyn was one of them.

In the training, she never doubted her capabilities, instead, she showed dynamism to learn and finish the course despite the sacrifices she encountered especially for her children. She focused on her training and was determined to graduate and find a job for her family.

Days after her graduation, she participated in the community-based training in haircut and hair coloring NCII and conducted community outreach, offering free haircut to some remote areas to hone her newly acquired skills.

Jonalyn never wasted her time by doing productive things like training in haircut and hair coloring while waiting for the response to her applications.

Jonalyn got a surprise when one of the famous pharmacies in the province of Cebu called her and accepted her application.

Dako kaayo og tabang ang training sa DSWD SLP nga Pharmacy Services NCII kay nakahatag kini og oportunidad sa mga labing nanginahanglan og trabaho sama kanako. Karon nga naka-trabaho na ko, dili na kaayo mi lisod kay kung unsay need sa mga bata mahatag ra dayon namo (The DSWD SLP training has helped us a lot because it provided opportunities to us program participants, who need to find work like me. Having a permanent job, our life now is far better than before. Now, I can provide some of the things that my family needs especially for my children),” said Jonalyn.

She is now part of the Pharmacy’s Toledo City Branch as Pharmacy Assistant. She receives around Php 10,000.00 monthly income with the inclusions of SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-ibig and other benefits she can able to enjoy.

Out from her income, Jonalyn has already invested in their family sofa sala set and bought her own motorcycle.

Nausab gyud among kinabuhi sukad ko nakatrabaho kay mas miarang-arang na ang among kinabuhi (Our life has changed since I got a full time job. Life is better now).” ###

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