LGU Bayambang wins the GAPAS Award

Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo and Bayambang Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao received the award during the 68th Anniversary Celebration of the Department.
The Local Government of Bayambang, Pangasinan bested other 17 entries for the 2019 Gawad Paglingkod sa Sambayanan (GAPAS) Award for Best Local Government Unit (LGU) implementing Outstanding Micro-enterprise Model of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The award acknowledges and commends the efforts of the LGU that have continuously supported the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Agency.
Highlighting the microenterprise partnership projects with DSWD in the Municipality from 2016 to 2018, a total of 930 participants were served under the DSWD-SLP. Nineteen (19) SLP Associations and one cooperative were established to have legal identities and have access to financial institutions and programs and services of other partner stakeholders like the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), and Kasama Kita sa Barangay Foundation, Incorporated (KKBFI), among others.
Cooperative Development Leading to Sustainable Employment
The Masagana SLP Producers Cooperative of Bayambang, accredited by the CDA on 15 February 2018, is a growing business entity run by 23 Pantawid Pamilya sewers.
The SLP participants who completed a month-long Skills Training in Dressmaking on 22 December 2017 and received starter kits from the DSWD were later organized into an association.  The meals and snacks of the trainees were shouldered by the LGU while the training venue was sponsored by the KKBFI, a private institution helping the LGU provide the needed socio-economic assistance in the Municipality.
Applying the learnings during the training, the Association was able to produce quality doormats, eco bags, bed sheets, and quilted sofa sheets which are sold at very affordable prices.

With the LGU’s Ordinance No. 19 Series of 2017 regulating the use of plastic cellophanes, sando bags, and polysterene, the Association was tapped as the sole eco-bag supplier for various LGU activities. The LGU endorsed the products to adjacent municipalities. The KKBFI also tapped the Association as its exclusive eco-bag supplier helping bridge its products to wider market opportunities while the DTI provided technical assistance on the use of social media for the promotion of the Cooperative’s products.

Members of the Masagana SLP Producers Cooperative with DSWD and LGU Bayambang staff during the mini-factory opening. (Photo credits to LGU Bayambang)

As an additional assistance to the Cooperative, the LGU passed Resolution No. 79, Series of 2018 also known as “Resolution Designating a Cooperative Mini-factory Including Separate Electric Lines in Barangay Pantol.” The said mini-factory that officially started operating on 22 November 2018 houses 15 sewing machines and sewing materials needed for the production of the Cooperative’s products. Likewise, it is used as the Barangay Evacuation Center during disaster. The Cooperative generated an income of PhP120,000.00 which was divided equally among its members in 2018.

More Budding Businesses

Apart from the cooperative, various SLP Associations that were organized and funded by the DSWD-SLP have received assistance from the LGU. The Broiler Raisers SLP Association established in 2016 received additional livelihood assistance such as fish cages and jetmatic pump from the LGU and BFAR for its tilapia aquaculture business. The members were later trained on mushroom production by the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) in partnership with Tarlac Agriculture University for additional income.
The Manambong Sur Fisherfolks SLP Association completed the Skills Training in Carabao-based Enterprise in partnership with the PCC. The LGU provided the carabao pen of the livestock. To increase the Association’s income, it also ventured in tilapia aquaculture business. The BFAR provided tilapia fingerlings and net while the KKBFI shouldered the excavation expense of the pond amounting to PhP50,000.00 for the inland fishery business. The lot where the pond was established is owned by one of the members. Devastated by typhoon in June 2018 leaving the Association no income, the LGU allotted PhP50,380.00 for the procurement of fingerlings, nets, and feeds to restore their livelihood.
A quarantine area located at Brgy. Tanolong was also provided by the LGU for the Goat Raisers of Bayambang SLP Association. It was established by the MAO as a restraint facility for examination of livestock being brought inside the municipality to ensure that no communicable disease shall infect other livestock.
On 30 October 2017, the Bayambangueña Pasalubong Center and Tourist Assistance Center were opened to promote the town to visitors while providing means of livelihood to local product makers which include the SLP Associations.
Seven (7) Livelihood Focals were appointed by the LGU to help DSWD-SLP staff monitor the progress of the livelihood projects implemented in the Municipality and to provide additional technical assistance needed. The LGU also hired an Action Desk Officer in Livelihood and Skills Training to assist the Municipal Mayor in developing strategies to implement sustainable livelihood programs for the Municipality and in analyzing priorities and skills development that will strengthen and / or generate employment opportunities.
Last year, the Local Government of Anda, Pangasinan won the said award among the 17 regions. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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DSWD partners with SM Foundation to produce skilled farmers in Pangasinan

Since 2015, SM Foundation, Incorporated in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1, Harbest Agribusiness Corporation and some Local Government Units in Region 1 has been providing technical assistance among farmers through its Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) Farmer’s Training Program. This  initiative aims to support communities through food security and poverty reduction by introducing modern farming techniques among the trainees.

One hundred eight (108) trainees from Calasiao, Bugallon, and Aguilar in Pangasinan successfully graduated from the 7-month long training recently. Thirty-eight (38) of the trainees were Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, 15 of them are Sustainable Livelihood Program served beneficiaries of the DSWD.

Originally, the training module which started in June 2018 should run for three months only, however, due to natural calamities that devastated the province during the implementation, it was extended to four months to allow rehabilitation and coping mechanism trainings. Modern and practical ways of land preparation, crop management, and harvesting techniques were introduced to the program participants.

Ang training na ito ang magpapataas sa aming ani. Nagboluntaryo akong sumali dahil sa kabila ng aking edad ay gusto ko pa ring guminhawa ang aking buhay (This training will increase our yield. I volunteered to be one of the trainees despite my age because I still look forward to a better life),” said Bernardino Morales, 66, as he showed gratitude to all stakeholders who have helped in the realization of their training.  He owned the 7,000 square meter lot at Brgy. Doyong, Calasiao where the project site and training took place.

Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo acknowledged the vital role of partnership among the stakeholders in the successful implementation of livelihood projects and other social welfare assistance being extended to the community. “Dapat talaga ay magkakasama ang iba’t-ibang ahensya at institusyon upang mas mapalawak pa ang maibibigay na tulong at makarating ang totoong tulong sa dapat nitong patunguhan (Agencies and institutions should converge to provide extensive assistance to reach the beneficiaries who really need it most),” he said.

From 2015 to 2017, 282 SLP participants from Aringay, La Union; Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; and Pozorrubio, San Fabian, and Lingayen, Pangasinan benefitted the same training which they maximized to improve their chosen microenterprises. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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PhilRice’s Lakbay Palay 2018 introduces new farming techniques to SLP participants

As part of the sealed partnership between the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) and Philippine Rice Research Institute Batac (PhilRice Batac), 985 farmers gathered together through the Lakbay Palay 2018 held on 8-9 November 2018 at PhilRice NTA Station, Batac City, Ilocos Norte. The farmers who are from the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union are all Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participants of DSWD FO 1 who are currently undergoing various skills training on rice, oyster mushroom, and vegetable production.

PhilRice’s Lakbay Palay aims to introduce new farming techniques and approaches to the farmers. With this year’s theme “Lakbay Kaalaman Tungo sa Masaganang Kinabukasan”, the farmers, together with some DSWD and LGU staff, had a tour to PhilRice Batac’s 13 learning stations. The stations include vermicompost production, inbred rice seed production, special purpose rice selection, introduction to new farm machineries, among others.

Pati pay gayam dagidiay ammomin a basura ket mabalin pay gayam a pagkakitaan, diay vermicompost. Pati panagtalon ket high-tech payen, masapol laeng nga adda mangisuro isu nga agyamyaman kami ti DSWD ken PhilRice (Even those that we consider trash can still be a source of income… like vermicompost production. Farming requires high-technology now, we just need someone to teach us the technical know-how, and we thank DSWD and PhilRice for that),” said Modesto Danao from Agoo, La Union who actively participated during the discussions.

PhP15.99 M partnership

The SLP participants actively participate during the Lakbay Palay 2018.

DSWD FO 1 and Philrice Batac signed a 15.99 million peso partnership early this year where PhP15 million came from the DSWD SLP GAA-Microenterprise Development 2017 fund and the remaining amount from PhilRice who served as training specialists.

Maganda ang SLP na programa ng DSWD (The Sustainable Livelihood Program is a good program of DSWD) in terms of attitude transformation among our participants. It is easier for us to introduce new technologies,” said PhilRice Batac Director Reynaldo C. Castro relating to the five processes which the SLP participants underwent. The second process – the Social Preparation stage – follows a participatory process to empower and develop co-ownership among SLP participants.

As the SLP participants are being continuously monitored for assessment and additional technical assistance within a two-year incubation period by the SLP Field Staff, the first batch of farmers who underwent skills trainings have already applied new farming techniques learned through their increased crop production rate during the last harvest season. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Living a better quality of life with DSWD-SLP

From a Barangay Sanitary Inspector receiving a PhP500.00 monthly honorarium, Romela de Vera is now earning an additional PhP2,000.00 to PhP3,000.00 monthly  from her sari-sari store through the provision of PhP10,000.00 start-up capital from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1.

Romela was among the 113 SLP participants in Brgy. Subusub, Rosario, La Union who underwent Skills Training on Hairdressing in 2015 but she shifted to sari-sari store management after seeing a viable business opportunity on the said enterprise. Her house is located in a congested area where the next nearest sari-sari store is about 180 meters away.

Due to the high demand, she expanded her business to general merchandise selling ready-to-wear clothes, slippers, bags, and purified drinking water. She also sells burgers and street foods earning an additional average monthly income of PhP2,000.00. Her combined income from retailing and snack vending greatly contributes to her husband’s average monthly income of PhP5,000.00 from personal driving which is utilized for the family’s daily needs and schooling of their five children. Most of the family’s savings were utilized for house expansion and acquisition of home appliances.

Talaga nga dakkel ti tulong ti SLP ta limmag-an ti panagbiagmi uray kaskasano. Saan kami nga agproblema ti gastosenmi ti inaldaw ken ti panagbasa dagiti ubbing ta adda daytoy a livelihood (SLP is truly a big help, we are somehow living in a more comfortable life now. We no longer worry about our needs because we have this profitable livelihood),” said Romela. She is now planning to expand her enterprise by adding rice to her range of merchandise.

On the other hand, 83 program participants from various barangays in Rosario, La Union underwent Skills Training on general merchandise/sari-sari store management in 2015. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Former bangus deboner in Dagupan City now a business proprietor through DSWD-SLP

Emelyn Jimenez prepares her marinated bangus orders bound to Laoag City and Manila.

From a bangus production worker to owning her own Daing na Bangus business, Emelyn Jimenez is grateful of the assistance given to her by the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office I (DSWD FO 1).

Emelyn from Dagupan City was one of the identified SLP participants in the city in 2016. Along with 142 more Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, she underwent a 3-day Skills Training on  Enhanced Business Management for Sari-sari Store and received starter kits worth PhP10,400.00 each to operate their own sari-sari stores. Prior to DSWD intervention, she used to work as a Daing na Bangus production worker earning PhP500.00 daily.

Since Emelyn resides in a densely populated barangay where sari-sari stores are in every corner, she decided to shift her business into Daing na Bangus. Her income from the sold starter kits was utilized as her start-up capital. Together with her husband, they sell marinated boneless bangus at PhP75.000 to PhP90.00 per pack at the City’s public market.

After months of being a retailer, she was able to gain bulk buyers from Laoag City and Metro Manila ordering an average of 150-600 kilos of bangus at least twice a week.

She now earns a net income of PhP1,000.00 to PhP3,000.00 daily. A part of her profit was utilized in the renovation of their house from sawali to concrete. Each of  her  worker  earns PhP200-PhP340 daily from repacking,  marinating, and garlic peeling. Other workers are paid  PhP2.00 for every deboned milkfish.

All SLP-served participants shall undergo an incubation period of one year and three quarters where a monitoring Project Development Officer deployed in the area provides continuous technical assitance to the said program participants.  (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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From retailer to reseller: A popcorn business out of curiosity

Every week, Betty cooks 2 sacks of popcorn.

As cheap as PhP5.00 per pack, Betty Cruz’ popcorn business now supplies canteens and sari-sari stores in the different towns of Ilocos Sur and Abra.

With no formal training and background on the business, Betty used to sell snacks in an elementary school near their home and worked as a seasonal farm tenant in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur earning a rough PhP150.00 to PhP200.00 per day. This is to augment the PhP200.00 daily income of her husband who used to be a roving delivery man/driver for a snack business in the same town.

An unexpected business out of curiosity, she tried to experiment cooking popcorn for her family. Considering the easy preparation of the popcorn and the cheap market value of it that suit students’ budget, she tried to repack some and sold it to the school where she also sells kakanin. Getting a good income out of the small supply, she expanded her market to nearby schools and sari-sari stores in Narvacan.

However, due to her limited capital, Betty was not able to regularly supply popcorns to her growing market.

Her family with two kids being a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program requires regular attendance to the program’s Family Development Sessions (FDS). Through the FDS, Betty was able to learn about the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department and was later identified as one of the recipients of the Seed Capital Fund amounting to PhP5,000.00 in November 2016 to augment her limited capital. She was then able to continue expanding her business with the assistance given to her.

Because of the growing business, her husband decided to quit his job, loaned a motorcycle and supplied popcorns to nearby towns of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur and some towns of Abra. She now hires two neighbors who work 3-4 days a week as repackers. Each of them are being paid PhP150.00 daily with free meals.

She also cooks and sells peanuts in addition to the popcorns. Good market strategy developed along the way, her husband buys and sells other snacks such as pastillas, hopia, and fish crackers.

Adda sarili na a kita ni lakayko a PhP300.00 inaldaw, sabali met jay kitak nga PhP500.00. Ag-business partners kami. Bahala isona nga mangpatong ti presyo jay ited ko nga presyo kanyana (My husband has his own income of PhP300.00 daily while I also earn PhP500.00. We are business partners. I let him decide how much profit he’ll add up to the products he delivers)”, said Betty.

With hardwork and determination as the main ingredients of Betty’s popcorn, her production area of sawali walls which was attached to their house was renovated into concrete walls with window screens and door screen for sanitary compliance. The family was also able to invest on wooden cabinets as storage area for their product, and two electric sealers. “Dati ket manu-mano ti panang-seal mi iso nga inggana 3 days lang ti sarangsang dagiti popcorn, itan ket umaboten iti 5 days (We used to seal the packaging manually that crispiness of our popcorns only lasted for 3 days. Now it can last up to 5 days)”, she said.

Dagitoy bassit nga appliances mi ti in-inot a napondarmi. Mapmapan ngamin ti inaldaw a kasapulan ken pinagbasa dagiti ubbing ti mapaglaklakuanmi (We have invested on a few appliances now. Most of our combined income are allotted for our daily needs and our children’s school expenses)”, she added. Her parents are living with them, too.

Their family business is being monitored regularly by the SLP staff for technical assistance. “Dakkel a tulong ti maaw-awatmi manipod ti Pantawid Pamilya Program ken iti puhunan nga naited ti SLP (The assistance from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and SLP are big help to us).” (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Former on-call laborer now heads a hotel security service through DSWD-SLP

Maysa nak dati a karpintero ngem saan a regular iti trabahok. Dakkel ti pagyamanan ti pamilyak ta nakastrekak a Security Guard iti maysa a first-class hotel babaen iti DSWD-SLP (I used to work as an on-call laborer. My family is grateful that I am now working in a first-class hotel as a security guard through the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1).”

Gerald Suero, 46, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary from Vigan City, used to work 3-4 days a week as an on-call laborer earning PhP250.00 per day to provide for his family’s needs. Because of his rough income, he also worked as the barangay garbage truck driver earning an additional Php1,800.00 per month while his wife is a beauty and wellness products dealer.

Poor but not in spirit

Through the Family Development Session of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Gerald and 34 other 4Ps beneficiaries in the city were oriented on the SLP process and immediately showed interest in being part of the program in 2016. Based from the assessment and validation of the staff, they underwent Skills Training on Pre-Licensing Course for Security Guards and had successfully obtained their licenses.

This DSWD-SLP project which amounted to PhP486,500.00 from the DSWD-SLP Regular GAA 2016 fund is implemented in partnership with the City Government of Vigan and Vigan Skills Training Institute who shouldered PhP35,000.00 of the training cost.

As a way to conveniently start their career as security implementers, each SLP participant was given a set of complete uniform with prescribed pair of shoes.

Welcoming opportunities 

The Heritage City of Vigan being one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country opensb many job opportunities for security guards as establishments sprouted in all of the city premises. Gerald was successfully hired as a security guard at Vigan City’s only first-class museum hotel in February 2017.

After 6 months of quality security service, he was promoted as the team leader of the hotel’s security force. Apart from his 13th month pay, SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-ibig benefits, he is also entitled of a Team Leader monthly allowance.

Proud nak diay dati a trabahok ngem maragsakanak met ta dakkel ti limmag-anan ti ubrak tatta. Saanak a main-initan ken matudtudwanen (I am proud of my previous job but I am more comfortable with my job now. I am no longer working under the sun or rain),” he said.

Self-determination towards sustainable livelihood

Recognizing the great impact of DSWD-SLP to their family’s well-being, he shared that one’s determination is still the deciding factor in life. “Uray kasano kaado a tulong nga ited ti gobyerno, masapol a siak mismo ket kayat ko a tulungan sa numam-ay ti bagik uray kaskasano (Regardless of the many interventions from the government, I make sure that I am determined to help my self live a fuller life no matter what),” he added.

Most of his training batch mates are also employed as security guards in Ilocos Sur. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Farmers in Rosario, La Union advance in farming techniques

Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participants ready for palay transplanting

A hundred (100) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participants  in various barangays of Rosario, La Union are continuously acquiring new farming technologies and techniques to improve their production yield through a cropping season-long Skills Training on Rice and Mushroom  Production. The said training is part of the PhP15 million partnership project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office I through SLP and Philippine Rice Research Institute Batac catering to 985 SLP participants in Region I.

Itultuloytayo ti panagtitinnulongtayo. Uray nagaget tayo no saan tayo ammo ti teknolohiya, mauditayo latta. No masurotantayo ti teknolohiya, bumaba ti production cost ken dumakkel ti kitatayo (Let us continue helping one another. Hardwork without knowledge on new technologies will leave us behind. If we learn new farming technologies, we can minimize production cost and improve the yield),” said PhilRice Dir. Reynaldo C. Castro during the ceremonial transplanting at Brgy. Gumot-Nagcolaran on 13 July 2018.

With facilitation from the PhilRice staff, program participants were taught on the crop management system for rice called the “PalayCheck System”. This provides a collaborative learning framework for farmers to improve their understanding of production principles and their management skills to enable technology localization. The crop management area focuses on seed and variety selection, land preparation, and establishment of crop, nutrient, water, pest, and harvest.

DSWD-SLP and PhilRice Batac have also been conducting Skills Trainings on Oyster, Mushroom and Vegetable Production to identified SLP participants in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte since May 2018. Target full implementation of the said partnership project is before the end of the current year. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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