The partnership between the Department of Social Welfare (DSWD) MIMAROPA and the Local Government Units (LGUs) in the region is both an opportunity and a responsibility.
Aside from being involved in the provision of supply-side support and grievance resolutions, the LGU co-implements the strategy in improving the well-being of poor Filipino households.
Along with DSWD, different LGUs across the region implement programs, projects, and services that aim to unfold potentials and further harness skills of the beneficiaries so they may use it to fit with the opportunities within their area.
This is until such time a household beneficiary exits from the program because of the following instances: (a) improved well-being and (b) no more child living under the household can be registered under the program.
The LGU of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro is very supportive of the implementation of the program in their municipality.
These include the provision of (1) manpower and transportation assistance during the release of cash grants; (2) different livelihood training and seminars; (3) meals every time program activities are conducted; and recently (4) Php 1,500.00 cash assistance, rice, and dozens of eggs to those beneficiaries who are not included in the Emergency Subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program.
The initiative includes a series of training on poultry business and provision of livelihood assistance to those who have been adversely affected by the spread of COVID-19.
The 21 exiting beneficiaries from 4Ps have benefitted from this initiative of the LGU.
Mayor Ilagan personally opted to include the exiting beneficiaries to enable them to start their livelihood as they go out of the program.
One of those exiting beneficiaries who received assistance from the LGU is Evelyn Garcia-Cenita, 50 years old.
Evelyn works as a Barangay Health Worker. Evelyn currently owns a sari-sari (small grocery) store where she earns Php 500.00 in a day.
She also sells fish twice a week.
Before becoming a beneficiary of the program, she recalls how hard it was for them.
“Tunay na napakahirap ng buhay noon. Umaasa lang kaming mag-asawa sa pagniniyog, pagbebenta ng saging, at pangingisda. Lagi naming inaalala kung ano nanaman ba ang ihahanda sa hapag. Lampara lang gamit namin noon tapos nakiki-igib pa kami sa kapitbahay”.
Even though everyday was hard for Evelyn and her husband to get by, this did not discourage her family from striving harder.
Aside from the conditional cash grants they are receiving, Evelyn made sure that their inclusion in the program will not come to waste.
“Ang pagiging benepisyaryo ay hindi lamang nangangahulugan na tanggap lang tayo ng tanggap mula sa tulong ng gobyerno. Ang cash grant na natatanggap natin ay may mas malalim pang kahulugan. Ito ay ang unti-unti tayong makatayo sa sarili ating mga paa, matuto sa mga aral na itinuro satin sa buwang FDS at higit sa lahat ay pagsikapan na makaahon sa hirap ng buhay.”
Bringing Joy to Beneficiaries
Last February, before officially exiting from the program, the current well-being status of Evelyn and 20 other exiting were presented to the LGU of Puerto Galera through a Municipal Case Conference.
Through the case conference, the Local Chief Executive has ensured that the well-being of the beneficiaries will be further improved through inclusion to different LGU programs and services.
“Sinisiguro ko na ang lokal na pamahalaan ng Puerto Galera ay patuloy na nakaantabay sa mga paalis nang benepisyaryo sa 4Ps.
We will continuously plan and provide assistance to these households in every way possible”, said Mayor Rocky llagan.
Thus on April 15, weeks after the case conference, the 21 exiting beneficiaries were provided by the LGU of Puerto Galera with a poultry business starter kit that includes 30 chicks, drinking containers, chicken vitamins, and feeds (patuka).
“Ang natanggap ko pong tulong-pangkabuhayan galing kay Mayor ay pagsisikapan ko pong palaguin katulong po ang lahat sa pamilya namin. Marami po akong natutunan sa 4Ps. Lahat po iyon ay gagamitin ko.”
Evelyn also already plans on how to grow the livelihood assistance from the LGU.
“Sa ikatlong linggo po, susundan ko na po agad ng karagdagang 25 pang sisiw ang mga ito. Para pag naibenta na ang mga nauna ay may kasunod na palakihin.”
She also mentioned where she plans to source out poultry supplies to further sustain her business.
“Maghahanap na rin po ako ng mga bibili sa bayan saka mga supply. Para po masiguro na maayos at sapat ‘yung pagkain ng mga sisiw at nang sa ganun ay maibenta ng mahal”.
But more than the joy they felt, it was proved that the collective action between the department and the local government, indeed takes a big toll on the lives of the beneficiaries.
With compassion and dedication from everyone involved, a better future lies ahead of everyone — a future where opportunities are for all and poverty is no longer inherited. ###
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