Empowering the poor through livelihood opportunities

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) empowers poor families through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), a community-based capacity building effort that seeks to improve the program participants’ socio-economic status.

SLP is implemented through two tracks: Micro-enterprise Development and Employment Facilitation. The Micro-enterprise Development track supports micro-enterprises in becoming organizationally and economically viable, whereas the Employment Facilitation track assists participants to access appropriate employment opportunities. Both tracks are executed based on the Community-Driven Enterprise Development (CDED) approach, which equips program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets.

From January 2011 to March 2015, SLP benefited a total of 773,796 families wherein 648,328 families were served through the Microenterprise Development track and 125,468 families under the Employment Facilitation track. The government has spent P4.46 billion for SLP implementation for this period.

It was during the Aquino administration that DSWD strengthened its partnership with public and private sectors through 963 SLP projects.  These projects increased the economic opportunities of the families by strengthening values and skills formation; increasing access to credit, savings and micro-insurance; improving product development and marketing; and providing pre-employment training and direct employment.

Among DSWD’s partner-agencies are the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Science and Technology (DOST), Tourism (DOT), Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that two beneficiaries have become proof of the gains of the program.

She cited Lilibeth Polinar of Caraga Region for being able to expand her business of hog raising, rice farming, buying and selling of charcoal, and multi-grains retailing with the assistance of veterinary and agricultural company Agrivet.

Her business started in June 2013 when SLP provided her a seed capital of P7,000.

Today, Lilibeth operates two Agrivet stores, one in Marihatag and another in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur, from which she earns P440,000 per month.

Another is a group enterprise managed by the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran Multi-purpose Cooperative from Region IV-B.

Through the collaboration of the local government, DSWD and other government agencies, the group was able to establish a cashew processing enterprise, a first in the municipality. At present, the members supply products to tourist locations in the area. During peak season, they are able to make P40,000 worth of cashew sales per week.

The group was also able to employ 11 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who earn additional P5,000 monthly income.

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