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Central Visayas SLPAs turning crisis into opportunity

By: By Irene R. Sino Cruz - CDN Digital Correspondent | March 26,2020 - 04:37 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The coronavirus pandemic might have adv affected many businesses but this crisis has also brought about an opportunity to some sustainable livelihood program associations (SLPAs) in Central Visayas.

Realizing the rising demand for face masks, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas encouraged some SLPAs in the region to shift from sewing rags and dresses to face masks brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a DSWD-7 press release posted on its website, this move was initiated on March 20 by Shalaine Marie Lucero, assistant regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas.

Lucero suggested to SLP regional program coordinator Rizalina Patindol that some of the program beneficiaries could take advantage of the growing demand for face masks in their areas. Patindol then coordinated with the project development officers (PDOs) in the region to identify SLPAs who can produce face masks.

In a press release posted on its website, DSWD-7 revealed that some members of the Kahugpungan Kababayenhang Loonanon (KKL) SLPA in Cogon Norte, Loon, Bohol were kept busy sewing face masks made of cloth.

The other SLPAs include the Sam-Ang Pantawid SLA in Toledo City; Katawhang Madasigon Sa Brgy Matutinaw SLPA in Badian, Cebu; Damarba SLPA in Basay Negros Oriental and Analyn Lucion in Argao, Cebu.

As of Wednesday, March 25, the SLPAs have produced more than 6,000 pieces of washable and reusable face masks. Sold at prices ranging from P20 to P30 , the face masks were delivered to the different buyers in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental.

“The skills of the members are maximized despite the pandemic that we have encountered now,” Patindol pointed out. “We always think positive and always welcome other opportunities that would come their way as long as it is safe and legal because it is also their social responsibility to help the community and people as well, especially in time of crisis.”

The production of face masks served as an alternative solution to earn an income while their projects are still affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, she added.

Ma. Giovanna Roselyn Vistal, SLPA program coordinator in Cebu, disclosed that the DSWD-7 was the first buyer for the face masks produced by the Toledo City-based Sam-ang Pantawid SLA.

Many government agencies and non-government organizations as well as resellers then followed suit and started ordering face masks.

The other buyers include the Mactan Cebu International Airport, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Oriental, some barangay local government units (BLGUs) in Toledo City and Loon, Bohol.

Meanwhile, Bohol Program Coordinator Jimmy Crusio said the Tagbilaran City LGU already tapped the Kahugpungan Kababayenhang Loonanon (KKL) to produce 25,000 pieces of face masks, which will be distributed to the LGU personnel.

The SLPAs are supported by the DSWD through the provision of seed capital funds to start their livelihood projects. /rcg

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