DSWD-7 released P595 M in livelihood assistance in 2 years
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7) has disbursed a total of P595 million under its Livelihood Assistance Grant (LAG) in the region in the last two years.
In a statement, DSWD-7 said the amount benefitted a total of 57,042 families since 2020, as the program catered to 11,119 families in Bohol; 31,241 in Cebu; 12,612 in Negros Oriental; and 2,070 families in Siquijor.
DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) extended the LAG to eligible low-income families or those belonging to the informal sector whose livelihoods were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of quarantine restrictions.
The LAG assisted eligible beneficiaries in recovering from economic losses by augmenting financial aid to new or existing micro-enterprise projects and/or augmenting their expenses for pre-employment requirements.
Among those who benefitted from the program was Raymunda Basalan, an 84-year-old farmer and vegetable vendor from Bayawan City, Negros Oriental. Basalan received a P10,000 cash assistance in 2020.
“The pandemic gave us a hard time. Our very little income from our vegetable farm was depleted, but the P10,000 assistance from SLP has given us the chance to recover from our losses,” she said.
Another LAG beneficiary is 44-year-old former overseas Filipino worker, Sarah Gutierrez, who now owns a sari-sari store in Tagbilaran, Bohol.
She said her business capital was depleted during the pandemic and while strict restrictions were still in place because she used it to support her family’s needs.
The cash assistance from LAG saved her family’s livelihood, she said.
Using the LAG allocation, she reopened her sari-sari store. And in less than a year, Gutierrez said, she was able to save and purchase a multi-cab that she now uses for her business and during their family travels.
The SLP has assigned workers to visit beneficiaries on a regular basis to monitor the implementation of the LAG and provide technical assistances.
Beneficiaries, on the other hand, are encouraged to value the government assistance because not everyone is eligible to receive this.
LAG’s target beneficiaries are low-income families with at least one member who works in the informal sector, such as homeworkers, occasional workers, house helps, micro-entrepreneurs, and public utility vehicle drivers, among others.
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