The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its Field Office IV-A, awarded a total of PhP 900,000 seed capital fund to three Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Associations from the towns of Rosario and Balete in the province of Batangas last May 10. 

These SLP Associations, composed of beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as members, are organized by the DSWD towards starting their micro-enterprise.

Dir. Mylah Gatchalian, Assistant Regional Director for Operations of the DSWD Field Office IV-A, emphasized to the beneficiaries that the seed capital fund is an opportunity provided to 4Ps members like them to gain a sustainable income to help the other needs of their families.

“Hamon namin sa inyo na mapayabong ang inyong mga livelihood at aktibong makilahok para ito ay maging matagumpay. Mahalaga ang sipag, tiyaga at dedikasyon ng mga benepisyaryo upang ang mga programa ay magtagumpay,” Dir. Gatchalian shared during the simple awarding ceremony in Balete.

Dir. Gatchalian added that their being a beneficiary of the 4Ps will not last a lifetime, so the DSWD ensures that they are provided with opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency through livelihood interventions such as the SLP.

Multi-sectoral partnership for ‘gatasang kalabaw’ project

In Rosario, the MILK (Mga Indibidwal na may Likas na Kakayahan) SLP Association, composed of 25 members, received PhP 375,000 fund for their ‘Gatasang Kalabaw’ project, which will be implemented alongside the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and the local government of Rosario, through its Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO).

The PCC will award one carabao each to the members of the association to start their individual carabao milk production. Starting June, they will be trained by the PCC and monitored by the MAO on the proper caring and milking of the carabaos.

The seed capital fund, on the other hand, awarded by the DSWD will be used by the members in the construction of individual carabao sheds and planting of forage grass. 

Through the partnership of various sectors, the SLP associations are also assured of a market for their milk produce. The Rosario Livestock and Agriculture Farming Cooperative will directly purchase the carabao milk from the members once they start their production.

“Maraming salamat po sa mga ahensya na nagkaloob nito sa amin. Makakaasa po kayo na aming palalawakin at pagtitibayin ito,” shared Apple Grace Perez, the president of the MILK SLP Association.

Livelihood opportunities for Taal Volcano relocatees

In the town of Balete, two livelihood associations, composed of relocatees from Brgy. Calawit, received a seed capital fund for their respective micro-enterprise projects.

Brgy. Calawit is part of the Taal Volcano island, which has been declared as a permanent danger zone and a ‘no man’s land.’ After the phreatomagmatic eruption in January 2020, the residents were relocated to the mainland in a National Housing Authority ‘pabahay’ project.

With the challenge of changing their livelihood mainly from being fisherfolks and tourist guides, the two organized associations agreed on venturing into their respective micro-enterprise projects.

The FISH (Fishermen Investing on Successful Harvest) SLP Association, composed of 15 4Ps members, will start their fish wholesale business. 

“‘Yung pondo po naming natanggap (PhP 225,000) sa SLP ay gagamitin namin na pambili ng sariling bangka at ibang mga gamit,” shared Jasmin Mendoza, the president of the association.

Meanwhile, the BREADS (Building Responsible, Equipped and Developed Society) SLP Association, composed of 20 members, will use the PhP 300,000 seed capital fund to open a bakery in their community.#