600 SLP program participants graduate on various skills trainings

The program participants during the mass graduation on 28 February 2018 in Binmaley, Pangasinan.

A total of 600 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries from Pangasinan who were identified as program participants of the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office I (DSWD FO I) successfully finished various skills trainings offered by DSWD in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-Pangasinan Technological Institure (TESDA-PTI). The said microenterprise development project of Php8,550,625.00 is a fund transfer of the DSWD FO I to TESDA-PTI. The latter’s counterpart include the provision of training supplies, venue, insurance of the program participants during the trainings and the trainer’s honorarium which cost Php142,800.00.

Program participants from the cities of Dagupan and San Carlos, and towns of Binmaley, Bugallon, Calasiao, Lingayen and Sta. Barbara underwent a 34-day Skills Training on Food Processing NC II (500 participants), 30-day Skills Training on Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC II (50 participants) and 15-day Skills Training on Bread and Pastry Production (50 participants).

The project’s objectives are to equip the participants with the new knowledge and skills necessary for enterprise establishment/enhancement, operations, and management; and to certify participants as qualified National Certificate (NC) II holders. The program participants will be referred to partner agencies for possible employment and microenterprise opportunities. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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DSWD FO 1 serves 5,276 SLP program participants in 2017

Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPAs) showcasing their products and services during the DSWD May Malasakit Information Caravan on 18 September 2017 at Urdaneta City, Pangasinan.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 ( DSWD FO 1) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) ranked first and 7th on the effective implementation of Microenterprise Development (MD) and Employment Facilitation (EF) tracks, respectively, among the 17 regions in the country in 2017. This concludes DSWD FO 1 to land second in the over-all ranking on the implementation of both tracks.

Out of the Php317,907,479.91 obligated projects with 23,571 participants, a total of Php55,671,522.00 has been utilized for MD modality to cater 3,597 households from July to December 2017. This track focuses on starting, expanding or rehabilitating microenterprises.

Evelyn Real, 42, who graduated from the Skills Training on Business Management leading to Food Cart Business on 11 August 2017 and was awarded with a food cart business in San Juan, La Union said that the grant given to her family would be of great help in sending her three children to school. “Ti maganansyak to ket pangalaan iti allowance da nga agbasa ken igatang iti school projects da (The income I’ll be getting will be utilized for my children’s school allowance and projects),” she said.

For EF modality, on the other hand, out of the Php27,151,332.00 obligated projects with 2,659 participants, a total of Php15,065,215.00 has been utilized to cater 1,679 households. This track provides assistance to qualified participants seeking employment.

In an interview, Glenn Mirabel, 36, from Sinait, Ilocos Sur gratefully expressed his optimism and joy as one of the Security Guard graduates last July, “Napalalo ti yamanko ta nairamanak nga nabenepisioan. Barbareng no makabirokak ti napintas a pagtrabahoan tapno saan kamin (pamilyak) ton a maibilang a 4Ps. (I am very grateful to be included in the program. I am looking forward to getting a good job so we, my family, will no longer be listed as Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries).” Glenn, who is a farmer before enrolling in the program, admitted that the compensation he gets out of farming is not enough to sustain the needs of his growing family.

There are 23,618 served program participants of 2015 and 2016 who are continuously monitored, tracked,  and provided with needed assistance.

A hundred and two Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPAs) were accredited as CSO beneficiaries of DSWD in 2017, 31 others are still on the process of accreditation. Beneficiary CSOs are those that are composed of individuals bound by common interest and or are confronted by a calamity, social condition, problem, issues or crisis and who organized themselves mainly to benefit from government projects or programs that they themselves will undertake.

SLP of DSWD FO 1 continues to serve its clients and beneficiaries with commitment and efficiency in 2018. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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DSWD, CDA-DEO seal partnership on microenterprise projects

The two MOA signatories, CDS Regional Director Josefina B. Bitonio (seated in red top) and DSWD Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo (seated in violet top) showing the signed MOA with their respective witnesses.

Binded by the common goal on poverty alleviation and empowerment of the disadvantaged sector through the provision of appropriate interventions, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field office 1 (DSWD FO 1) and the Cooperative Development Authority Dagupan City Extension Office (CDA-DEO) sealed a Php1,529,580 worth of partnership project for the implementation of various skills training on microenterprise development intervention in Region I through DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). Php1,490,580.00 of the fund will come from the DSWD SLP GAA 2018 while the remaining Php39,000.00 fund will be the counterpart of the CDA-DEO.

Some 780 qualified program participants, prioritizing the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, will undergo Skills Training on Bookkeeping with Would-Be Cooperative Seminar to equip them with new knowledge and skills necessary for  enterprise development or enhancement, operations, and management of human capital to enable them to actively participate in the local economy as coop-entrepreneurs.

For a more expanded livelihood support, the two agencies shall link with the Provincial Government and Local Government Units in Region I under the Agricultural Technologies and Tourism Development Program or similar livelihood programs, as well as with other National Government Agencies, such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for relevant programs, additional services, and upscaling of the partnership project initiated.

DSWD FO 1 continues to provide technical assistance and continuing capacity building support to SLP beneficiaries together with the CDA-DEO. The latter party shall take responsibility in the disbursement of funds for the project implementation, and assist in the registration of Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPAs) into cooperatives.  Registered SLPA cooperatives become partners of both parties. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Weaving good lives from Sawali homes to Sawali business

Patterns. As part of their daily routine, Amileta Servanda (in pink top) and Maribel Singuio (in gray top) show expertise in weaving Sawali mat.

From shanty housing out of crafted bamboo splits more commonly called as Sawali, most members of the Sawali Makers of Labrador Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) from  Brgy Bolo in Labrador town, Pangasinan, are now living in a safer and more convenient cemented houses because of the savings they earned out of their own Sawali business.

This has been made possible with the assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1- Sustainable Livelihood Program’s intervention through a 3-day Skills Training on Entrepreneurship on October 2015 conducted by Lite Technical Institute where each of the 70 program participants received starter kits which include 25 bundles of Pinatpatan and one bolo during the graduation.

Right after their graduation, program participants began their own business earning a minimum of P300.00 income daily. Before the Department’s intervention, the program participants who can’t afford to buy their own weaving materials and supplies, depend mainly on a few naighbor who could pay them Php100.00 daily in exchange of their weaving skills.

Dati, hindi ko kayang bumili ng higit sa isang kilong bigas, ngayon may maliit na bigasan na ako. Nakapagpagawa na rin ako ng maliit ngunit sementadong bahay na may sariling kubeta (Before, I can not buy more than a kilo of rice, but now I even have my own small rice retailing business. I was also able to build a concrete home with its own CR),” said SLPA President Violeta Garcia, 57. Bukod sa pagnenegosyo, tinuruan din kaming mag-budget. “Kailangan talaga na may tinatabing pera (Aside from the our own Sawali business, DSWD has taught us the importance of saving money),” she proudly added.

Amileta Servanda, 37, an SLPA member, on the other hand, said that she was able to buy and raise three goats out of her savings from Sawali making. “Habang may tuluy-tuloy na kita sa Sawali, dagdag kita rin kapag nabenta ang mga kambing. Ang laking tulong ng SLP (While there is a continuous income in Sawali making, selling the goats is also an additional income. SLP is really of big help)”.

Due to high demand and good quality of the Sawali produced by the Association, the suppliers pick the products straight from the members homes and deliver them mostly to big lumber companies in Luzon.

The Association started saving a part of their income September last year. As of October 2017, they had a total of Php98,000.00 in their association’s bank account. They plan of building a wide warehouse where all of the members could work together that all of the materials are stored in just one area.

Kung mawala man kami sa programang 4Ps, thankful kami dahil nabigyan naman kami ng matatag na kabuhayan (If ever we are no longer Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, we are still thankful that we are given a stable source of livelihood), said Violeta Garcia. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)


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Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries expand business through SLP

Sweet treats. Celedonia Soriano happily offers her sundot-kulangot products.

Sundot-kulangot, translated as “nose booger” in English because one’s finger can be used to take out and enjoy the candy out of the shell if a stick is not available, is a pinch of glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk and brown sugar stored in a small coconut-looking shells locally called as bitaoy. It is one of the famous pasalubongs from Baguio City but little did everyone know that these sweet treats are made in Lingayen town in Pangasinan, and only imported and became well-known in the former.

One of the Sundot-kulangot makers in Lingayen is Celedonia Soriano, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary. Due to lack of capital, she, together with her husband, work for a neighbor in exchange of a stipend they use to buy their family’s increasing needs. “Dahil sa maliit na kita, di kami makapagpondar ng sariling bahay. Nakikitira kami sa mga kamag-anak (Because of small income, we can’t afford to have our own house. We live with whoever relatives offer their home with us),” said Celedonia.

Seeing a high income potential in this business, the Department of Social Wellfare and Development Field Office 1- Sustainable Livelihood Program through its Seed Capital Fund Modality, 19 program participants, including Celedonia, underwent a 5-day capability building and technical assistance on June 2015 and was able to avail a seed capital assitance of P10,000.00 each, payable for two years.

Originally, the Seed Capital assistance was intended to augment the low income of their bagoong na alamang (shrimp paste) business since most of the program participants were fisher folks. However, due to the limited supply of shrimp during the implementation of the project, they decided to expand their business operation to calamay and sundot-kulangot making.

After the Department’s intervention, Celedonia family’s monthly income of Php4,000.00 to Php6,000.00 went up to atleast P8,000.00. From this, the family was able to save some of their income and later utilize it to acquire a house. “Nagpapasalamat kami dahil magtatapos na ng college ang anak naming babae ngayong taon (We are thankful because our daughter is about to finigh her degree in BS Biology this year),” she said. Celedonia has 3 children, the other two are now in high school. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)


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Ornamental Propagation Business: Blooming and booming

Maria Foronda proudly shows her fruiting cranberry tree.

Awan lugina, no adda man malungsot a mula ket masukatan met laeng (There is no bankruptcy, withered plants are easily and cheaply replaced),” answered Pricila Resuello, 49, an ornamental propagator, when asked why she has chosen ornamental propagation as her family’s main source of living.

Ornamental propagation has been one of the most common livelihoods among the barangay folks of Manzante, Magsingal in Ilocos Sur because soil condition in the area possesses good quality essential for plant growth.

To produce better yields, the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 conducted a Skills Training on Ornamental Propagation in the barangay on 30-31 July 2015 which was participated in by 41 all-women program participants, most of whom are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. This is in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Hidden Garden that served as training providers. Program participants received seedlings  and propagation kits and supplies during their graduation.

Because of DSWD’s intervention to their livelihood, the program participants were able to acquire more knowledge on ornamental propagation and therefore, gained more profit. “Nasursuromi ti ag-graft. Gapo kadagiti naited a supply kas kadagiti ganagan, sprayer, mulmula ken dadduma pay, immado iti ganansyami (We learned how to graft. Because of the supplies and seedlings given to us, we were able to raise more profit),” said Maria Foronda.

After a year, the program participants later organized themselves into an association called The Magsingal Ornamental Supreme where members can better share ideas on ornamental propagation and market strategies to other members. Some of the members buy plants from other members and sell them in the town market or to nearby municipalities. Now, the Association even has buyers as far as from Laguna. During peak season, particularly on summer and Christmas season, income for each member can go as high as Php5,000.00 per week.

Aside from the profit they get out of ornamental propagation, seeing their gardens in full bloom has created good emotional impact among the program participants. “Liwliwami iti agmula. Nagmayat a buybuyaen dagiti agsabsabong a mulami aglalao iti bigbigat (Planting is our form of leisure. It feels relaxing viewing our garden in full bloom especially in the morning),” said Pricila. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Liwanag SLPA in Pangasinan to receive candle orders for Halloween

Scented candles delicately handcrafted by the Liwanag SLPA.

Strong Catholic devotion for Our Lady of Manaoag in Manaoag, Pangasinan, both for locals and tourists, has opened great opportunity for candle industry to prosper in the area. A wide variety of candle design is sold by the locals on the street, brought home, and/or lit at the famous Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag’s Candle Gallery.

Seeing candle industry’s high market potential in the area, the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 provided assistance to 60 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the town through a 3-day Skills Training in October 2016. The program participants were later organized as Liwanag Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA). Right after their graduation, they were given a complete set of starter kits for their business.

Getting an edge over other candle makers, Liwanag SLPA members were taught to make unique delicately handcrafted scented candles sold at a very reasonable price. Their best seller designs include halo-halo candles, fruit cocktail design votive, and 7-day candles all sold at Php60.00 each. Other designs include Delarubia candles at Php35.00 each, Trio candles with rose design at P50.00 per pack, Manaoag Church floating candles sold at Php10.00 each, among others.

As early as now, the Liwanag SLPA is already accepting candle orders for Halloween as they will be doubling their manpower effort to produce and meet customers’ increasing demand. For orders, customers can contact SLPA President Samuel Manaois at 0921-214-8117 and 0929-145-1717.

To generate higher income, the Association aims of acquiring a molder for ordinary candles because of its low production cost but high market demand on regular business days.

Like a candle that can lit up a dark room, the business has started to light the bright future of the Liwanag SLPA members. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Feeding tilapias to feeding pockets

Prunella Retreta as she enjoys feeding the tilapia fingerlings

Apart from furniture making, San Vicente town in Ilocos Sur is also known for its Aquaculture industry. Most of the fish cages can be found in the barangays of San Sebastian and Pudoc. Although this livelihood has a high income potential, most of the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the area only get a stipend out of fish farming because they only work as tenant fishermen.

With the assistance from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1, 60 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries from the said barangays underwent a Skills Training on Tilapia Fish Culture and graduated on 31 October 2016. Each program participant was given an allotted budget of Php10,000.00 from the SLP Regular GAA 2016 Microenterprise Development fund, inclusive of training fees, meals and transportation allowance, complete fishing materials and tilapia fingerlings. The Local Government Unit of San Vicente provided the training venue.

The program participants were later organized into Agtignay Mangngalap Association creating their own rules and regulations. Divided into four groups, they were renting a total of 15 cages for Php500.00 each per year. With the unity and cooperation of the members, each of them received Php5,000.00 from their first harvest, plus their first Association’s saving.


Managing shocks

Bountiful harvest. Marjorie Ragunjan shares the Association’s blessing through grilled tilapia.

Too early to test the Association’s resiliency, a fish kill was experienced in the area due to environmental stress sometime in April and May this year. Applying what was taught in their training, the Association was saved from bankruptcy because they were able to detect the fish kill early, thus fresh tilapias were sold and dead tilapias that were still safe for human consumption were salted, dried and sold. “Imbes a malugi, nakaganansyakami pay laeng iti Php2,800.00 kada miembro. Dakkel a tulong talaga diay training (Instead of losing capital, we were still able to generate Php2,800.00 profit for each member. The training was really a great help),” said SLPA President Marjorie Ragunjan.


Building cages to building home

Supsuportaran na kami dagiti assawami. Isoda pay iti agpakan dagiti sida no dadduma (We are getting support from our husbands. They sometimes feed the fish, too),” said Marjorie. She even shared that her family saved the profit she received out of tilapia farming and later utilized it to improve their house. From a one room bungalow, her family now has  a small sala and kitchen.

Now, the Association is eyeing for a higher income that would sustain the arising needs of their families, particularly for the schooling of their children. It was agreed upon that the Association’s savings will be utilized to buy more fishing materials so they can produce higher yield. Having their own fish propagation cages is also part of their future plan. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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