As part of the continuing assistance to survivors of Typhoon Yolanda, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) initiated the Oyster Aquaculture livelihood project for 51 individuals from Brgy. Barra, Roxas City in Capiz. The project is a group enterprise of the Fisherfolks Association in the village.
A community-based capacity building program, SLP increases the economic opportunities of families through the different modalities such as skills training, seed capital fund, pre-employment assistance fund, and the cash for building livelihood assets. It is implemented through the Community-Driven Enterprise Development Approach, which equips program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets.
DSWD poured in some P1,676,100 as seed fund for the enterprise.
This August, the members will harvest the fruit of their eight months of hard work.
Eleven-year-old John Well Detablan is one of those who cannot hide his excitement as harvest time nears.
John, whose father Wilmer is the president of the Fisherfolks Association, said that he does not mind being exposed to the sun’s scorching heat while staying in the river monitoring the growth of the oysters.
“Lagi po ako nandito kasama si tatay. Pagkatapos po ng klase ko o kaya ‘pag walang pasok ay sumasama ako dito sa ilog para tignan kung lumalaki na sila (I am always here with my father after my class or every time I have no class to help check these oysters),” he said.
Equally excited is Excelyn, John’s mother. Excelyn said that they are thankful for the seed capital to invest in an oyster project as their alternative livelihood for fishing.
She added that the project is a great help to all members of the association because it provides them extra income which helps sustain the daily needs of their families, especially since fishing becomes risky during the rainy season.
Excelyn also said that being beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya has really changed their lives because it helps them cope during lean months.
Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides cash grants to partner-beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for checkups, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).
The Pantawid Pamilya has been covering Excelyn’s three children for almost five years now.
She also shared that of the 51 members of the Fisherfolks Association, 32 are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya. Excelyn said that the cash grants they are receiving every two months are helpful in meeting the needs of their children.
“Maganda pong motibasyon ang Pantawid Pamilya para mag-aral nang mabuti ang mga bata (The program is an effective motivation for the children to go to school),” Excelyn enthused.
DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the changed lives of beneficiaries prove that the Sustainable Livelihood Program and Pantawid Pamilya truly help empower the poor.
“Napatunayan mula sa mga benipisyaryo mismo na kaya nilang magbago sa tulong ng mga programa ng pamahalaan, (The beneficiaries themselves have proven that they can change for the better, with the help of government programs),” Sec. Soliman emphasized