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Employment Facilitation – A Road Map to Improving the Level of Economic Sufficiency of SLP Participants

Brooke’s Point, Palawan — The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provides identified poor families the appropriate income-generating opportunities through microenterprise or employment, to help improve their level of economic sufficiency.  The program is implemented in the different municipalities of the country.

The Municipality of Brooke’s Point in the province of Palawan is among the partners of DSWD in bringing the program interventions to identified poor household like Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries and other qualified participants.  The municipality’s economy is primarily anchored on agriculture, with rice and coconut production at the forefront.

In 2015, the Cardinal Agri Products, Inc., a diversified agribusiness enterprise, started to operate in Brooke’s Point, Palawan.  Established with the goal of uplifting the lives of farming communities, it offers high quality natural products on the global sphere.  To respond to the manpower demand of the operation, it outsources job from Worldwide Service Provider Multi-Purpose Cooperative (WILSERV), a cooperative that focuses on providing manpower through employment to companies and individuals in need.

The SLP has two–fold tracks: Microenterprise Development Track (MD) and the Employment Facilitation Track (EF).  In the desire to become responsive in escalating employment demand in the municipality of Brooke’s Point vis-a-vis presence of Cardinal Agri Products, Inc., SLP forged a partnership with WILSERV in the context of employment facilitation track.

The off-shot of the initiative was a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by both parties on September 2017.  Initially, the partnership was focused only in the Municipality of Brooke’s Point, however, with the proximity of Bataraza, Sofronio Española, Quezon, and Rizal, it was expanded to such areas taking into consideration the projected overspill demand of employment.  Recognizing the indispensable role of the Local Government Unit in the success of SLP’s programs and projects, such was likewise engaged.

The initiative was a prelude to the conceptualization of projects that aim to provide employment opportunities to program participants maximizing the employment opportunities at hand.  It is recognized that capacitating the participants through skills training shall provide avenues to employment on a more sustainable context.  Similarly, it shall serve as a vehicle in addressing four economic sufficiency indicators of Social Welfare and Development Indicators (SWDI) namely Employment, Income, Employable Skills, and Social Insurance.

Implementation of Guaranteed Employment Project in the Municipality of Brooke’s Point in Partnership with Worldwide Service Provider Multi -Purpose Cooperative and LGU

With the consolidated effort of the Municipal Action Team (MAT) of Brooke’s Point and solidarity of the Local Government Unit, the project was conceptualized in close coordination and partnership with Worldwide Service Provider Multi-Purpose Cooperative (WILSERV) and was realized through the provision of Skills Training on Nuts Pairing and Deshelling.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and poor families identified in the Listahanan database participated in the intervention that aims to provide sustainable income at the household level.   At the end of the skills training, the participants are expected to be hired as workers of Cardinal Agri Products, Inc.

A total of 313 participants availed the skills training, 223 in Nuts Pairing (10 days) and 90 in Deshelling (7 days).  While the SLP provided the skills training and Pre-Employment Assistance Fund (PEAF), WILSERV on the other hand provided the starter kit.  At the end of the capacity building, the MOA clearly stipulated that at least 80% of the participants shall be provided guaranteed employment specifically to Cardinal Agri Products, Inc.

Making a Difference in the Life of A Participant and the Family

Rosemarie D. Ancis, a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary who belongs to an indigenous group (Palaw’an) in Brooke’s Point, was one of the participants of the project. Together with her husband, she survives three children.  She used to be a Barangay Health Worker who earns a meager income.

Anecdotes revealed that the family practically lives a hand to mouth existence.  Her income and that of her husband who works as a mechanic (daily labor) at Cardinal Agri Products, Inc. cannot suffice the basic needs of the family.  Daily survival was a true test in addition to providing the needs of children wh  o are all in school.  In 2016, one of her children was hospitalized and she, together with her husband, resorted to borrowing money to pay for the hospital bills.

Rosemarie availed the Skills Training on Nuts Pairing (ST-EF), received the Pre-Employment Assistance Fund (PEAF) from SLP, and was consequently hired and deployed by WILSERV at Cardinal Agri Products, Inc.  She started as a Nuts Pairer, later on promoted as Checker and Time Keeper, Overall Machine Operator, and recently as Overall Lead Man of the Production and OIC Supervisor of the night shift operation.  From Php 290.00 daily wage in the beginning, she now receives Php 340.00. Apart from the monetary compensation, the skills and abilities of Rosemarie were developed through attendance in trainings and seminars related to her job and facilitated by Cardinal Agri Products, Inc.

The participant claims that the family’s economic condition today is far different from the predicament before she availed the guaranteed employment intervention.  The increase in income significantly bridged the gap in providing the needs of the family.  A savings mobilization mechanism is now in place which allows her to plan a self-managed microenterprise project of piggery, in addition to operating a lending project.  All these came into reality with the advent of guaranteed employment project which SLP initiated in partnership with Cardinal Agri Products, Inc., WILSERV, and the Local Government Unit of Brooke’s Point, Palawan.

Milestones Indicators/Impact of the Intervention

1.Increase in Income/Stability of Income

Guaranteed employment availed by the participant did not only provide stable wage but likewise helped her establish additional sources of income such as lending business and the soon to be operated hog raising enterprise. In addition, she initiated a savings mechanism out of such incomes and was able to use it during an emergency last February 2019.

2. Acquisition of Assets

Through employment at Cardinal Agri Products, Inc., the participant was able to acquire a brand new motorcycle on an installment basis, appliances (washing machine, family size foam), and other personal items for herself and family members.  In addition, the financial position of the participant increased through the operation of a lending activity.  The present economic capacity of the participant allowed her to access a bank loan which she used to further the lending activity she is currently engaged in.

3.Personality Development

The opportunity to work in a relatively big company boosted the self-esteem and morale of the participant.  The series of promotions stirred good attitudes towards work and ushered development of her leadership potentials. Opportunities to mingle with people widened her social capital, thus, shaping her confidence too. Attendance to several trainings determined competitive advantage should promotion or wider employment opportunities come in the future.

Determining Sustainability of Intervention

The security of employment of the participant determines sustainability of income.  After the period of one year and six months being employed in the company, she has acquired the regular position. The series of promotion of the participant (from being Nuts Pairer in the beginning to now being the Lead Man in Production and OIC Supervisor during night shifts) are indicators of long-term employment and continuous career growth.  This was further guaranteed by attendance to several in-house and invitational trainings facilitated by the company.

The development of her employment status from being probationary to regular is an indicator of job retention.  This is reinforced by the strong determination and commitment of the participant for continuous learning processes, thus, establishing and firming her credentials. By acquiring the regular post in Cardinal Agri Products, Inc., the participant now receives other benefits such as membership to the WILSERV Multi-Purpose Cooperative where a corresponding dividend is expected to be received at the end of every fiscal year.  Likewise, SSS, Pag-Ibig, Philhealth, medical insurance, service incentive leave, emergency loan, and 13th month pay came as additional package of her employment.  It is worth noting also that through the employment opportunity, the participant was able to avail life insurance amounting to Php 100,000.00.

A concrete experience was narrated by the participant on the incident of hospital confinement last May 2018 at Sagrado Hospital due to hypertension.  All hospital bills (including purchase of medicines) were refunded by insurance she availed from WILSERV.  In addition, she enjoyed a 10-day leave from work with pay. Meanwhile, on December 27, 2017 she received her first dividend from WILSERV amounting to Php 942.00. Last December 24, 2018, she enjoyed the second release of dividend amounting to Php 6, 972.00. ###

 

Contributors:

Moises Daniel S. Aban, Project Development Officer II, Palawan

John Rey S. Baylon, Project Development Officer II, Palawan

This post was written by:

- who has written 49 posts on DSWD Field Office IV Mimaropa Official Website.


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