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Tindahan ng Malinsuno: A Model of Community Store in Balabac, Palawan

Convenience stores are often overshadowed by giant supermarkets in the city but for Sitio Malinsuno in Balabac, Palawan, sari-sari stores are important part of the community.

Being a thriving small town in the islet, Sitio Malinsuno is situated in the southernmost part of the province. All goods and services from the mainland are transported by water. Local residents literally rough their way to Barangay Buliluyan, (the last barangay at the southernmost tip of mainland Palawan) or to Barangay Rio Tuba (the most developed barangay in the municipality of Bataraza) to get their basic commodities.

Adding to the difficulty in transportation is that boats used to buy basic goods in the mainland are the same boats used for fishing as livelihood of the residents.

Aiding the Challenge through Small-Scale Enterprise

To aid in the inconvenient transportation of goods and services, the Department of Social Welfare and Development through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) brought an alternative livelihood to residents in 2013.

A seed capital fund was released to 30 members of the Malinsuno Island SEA-K Association. After two years, members were able to pay the rollback amount to DSWD and were able to save Php 5,000.00 each. Then, majority of the members decided to pull out their savings to put up a community store in the village.

The Birth of Tindahan ng Malinsuno

Tindahan ng Malinsuno SEA-K Association began its operation in 2015 with two objectives: to sustain the benefits gained from the seed capital fund and to make basic commodities readily available and affordable in their community.

Aside from raising the initial capital for this project, the Malinsuno Island SEA-K Association members strengthened their capability as an organization to manage a community enterprise.

Through the assistance of SLP and other agencies, innovative policies were formulated through participatory processes. Aside from establishing the community’s credibility as an association, this also served as an avenue for the government to provide welfare assistance to the remote areas.

The continuous partnership between the partner stakeholders and the association led to the increase in their assets. After a year of operation, the community store was able to gain profit enough for each member to have a fair share of Php 8,000.00 and also to earn enough capital for the next cycle of its operation.

By the end of 2017, each member’s share has rocketed to an increase from a minimum of Php 10,000.00 up to a maximum of Php 14,000.00. At present, the community store is still rolling out for another cycle and its assets continues to increase.

Empowering Women, Empowering Community

Majority of members of the Malinsuno Island SEA-K Association is women. The implementation of SLP generated employment to these women. The birth of the community store organized and empowered the women as they now earn and provide income for their families. Aside from managing their household, they became key players in this microenterprise. Every member has his/her assigned schedule to man the store every day to sustain its operations.

This collective effort has brought a drastic change in the purchasing power and even the mode of purchase of residents. From crossing the sea to buy their day-to-day commodities for a relatively higher price, they are now able to acquire these on cheaper prices. In effect to the community, this has also neutralized the product pricing in the islet as other enterprises also lowered their pricing.

The birth of a convenience store that provided products at lower prices and supplied the needs of the local residents without them crossing the sea to go to mainland is a clear manifestation of the impact of small-scale enterprise to the community. ###


DSWD – SLP Palawan

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Tseke ng mga Proyektong Pangkabuhayan ng SLP, Ibinigay sa mga Benepisyaryo ng Bulalacao

Nagtipon-tipon ang mga benepisyaryo ng Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) sa Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro noong ika-30 ng Mayo taong 2018 upang tanggapin ang tseke para sa mga proyektong pangkabuhayan na nakalaan sa kanilang asosasyon.

Nasa 147 na benepisyaryo mula sa siyam na asosasyon ang tumanggap ng tseke na nagkakahalaga ng Php 1, 442, 160.00 sa kabuuan. Ang (1) Romvia-Poblacion SLP Association, (2) Cabugao Masagana SLP Association, (3) Nasucob-Maharlika SLP Association, (4) Cambunang Gintong Butil SLP Association, (5) Sea Shore SLP Association, (6) Nasucob Shooting Star SLP Association, (7) Tabok Malasugui SLP Association, (8) San Juan Tafarma SLP Association, at (9) Sea Side SLP Association ay nakapagkumpleto ng mga kinakailangang dokumento para sa akreditasyon.

Sinimulan ni Bb. Cynthia Apilado, Day Care Worker II, ang pagtitipon sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng panimulang pagbati sa lahat ng dumalo na sinundan naman ng makahulugang mensahe mula kay Ginang Florefe Y. Dimaala, Provincial Coordinator ng SLP at Ginoong Gideon Abuel, Municipal Administrator ng Bulalacao.

Ilan sa mga proyektong pangkabuhayan na nilaanan ng pondo ay ang tindahan sa komunidad, kagamitan sa pagsasaka at pangingisda, pag-aalaga ng manok at produksyon ng itlog, at buy and sell. Bukod sa pondo, ibinigay din sa mga benepisyaryo ang sertipiko ng akreditasyon ng kanilang asosasyon.

Si Ginang Michelle Andasan, Project Development Officer II ng Bulalacao, naman ang nanguna sa huling pangungusap. Ang pagbibigay ng tseke ay sinundan ng pagtitipon sa mga asosasyon upang ipaliwanag ang mga hakbang na dapat gawin sa pondo at ang mga responsibilidad na dapat nilang gampanan.


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A Glimpse of Palawan: The Impact of Community-Based Ecotourism

While tourists might have known or heard about the majestic island of Palawan, more and more people would want to come and visit the Philippines’ Last Ecological Frontier.

Simply describing Palawan as beautiful does not give justice to it. the It has been awarded the ‘World’s Best Island’ in 2017 by a well-known international travel magazine. With its abundant biodiversity, rich culture, breathtaking spots, hospitable people, it is undeniably true that Palawan is a paradise, a must-go for every tourist.

Zooming in lies Puerto Princesa, a city that has gone through a long journey from an environmentally-degraded city into one of the major ecotourism sites around the world. Add the fact that the city houses the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, provisionally chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature in 2011.

Part of the government’s objectives is to maintain a sustainable tourism that will serve as a livelihood for its people and promote economic development. To obtain this, the local government of Puerto Princesa City initiated the community-based ecotourism in Brgy. Buenavista.

Community-based ecotourism is a form of ecotourism that emphasizes the development of local communities and allows local residents to have substantial control over and involvement in its development and management, and also a major proportion of the benefits within the community.

This form of ecotourism allows the participants of the cooperative to share the environment and their way of life with visitors. While increasing local income and building local economies, community-based tourism allows communities to participate in the modern global economy while cultivating a sustainable source of income and maintaining their way of life.

Participants are now empowered through local leadership by creating plans and encouraging clear and transparent decision-making. Community members actively make decisions on strategies and acceptable levels of tourism based upon the community’s culture, heritage, and vision. Strategies also equip local communities with the tools and knowledge necessary for decision-making, and to build effective structures to enable the community to influence, manage, and benefit from ecotourism development and practice.

Puerto Princesa, the Eco-Tourism Center of the Philippines, received a remarkable increase in the number of tourists in the past few years bringing with them trade and businesses in the city. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in partnership with Local Government Unit, began the community-based ecotourism as part of supporting the advocacy of the municipality. They designed the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to alleviate poverty through livelihood projects and employment facilitation. Community-based ecotourism in Palawan proved the power of sustainable livelihood and biodiversity conservation to alleviate rural poverty.



DSWD-SLP Palawan

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Ika-171 na Anibersaryo ng Odiongan, Ipinagdiwang ng mga Residente

Ipinagdiwang ng mga residente ng Odiongan, Romblon ang ika-171 na anibersaryo ng bayan noong ika-isa hanggang ika-anim na Abril ng taong 2018. Kasabay nito ay ang taun-taong Kanidugan (Coconut) Festival upang magbigay-karangalan sa patron nito na si San Vicente Ferrer.

Bilang parte ng pagdiriwang, nagsagawa ang Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ng Agri-Trade Fair na nilahukan ng iba’t ibang MicroSmall and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sa probinsya. Isa sa mga nakilahok ay ang Ambulong Sustainable Livelihood Association ng Magdiwang, Romblon kung saan itinampok nila ang produktong banana chips.

Layunin ng Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) na itaas ang antas ng kabuhayan ng mga benepisyaryo sa pamamagitan ng pakikilahok sa mga gawaing pangkabuhayan tulad ng trade fair kung saan naipapakita ang mga ipinagmamalaking lokal na produktong nilikha mismo ng mga benepisyaryo ng programa.


Photos from:

Chyntia Deocades, Project Development Officer II, Romblon

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Farming in the Sea: The Cagayancillo Seaweed Farming

The town of Cagayancillo, located between the islands of Palawan and Negros in the Sulu sea, is endowed with beautiful beaches and rich marine resources. It is a 6th class municipality which is home to 6,285 people.

Cagayanins are known to have a culture of eating sea turtles or pawikan. When it was declared as an endemic species, they had to give up this culture and consume other allowable resources that can be caught in the sea.

Living in a remote island was never easy for Cagayanins especially that they are dependent on the sea for their livelihood. The unpredictable changes on weather, including monsoons and typhoons, limit the stability on their means of income.

Given this situation, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries, grabbed the opportunity to provide a viable alternative source of income for the people of Cagayancillo.

Since they rely on fishing and seaweed production, the beneficiaries organized an association called Cagayancillo Seaweeds Farmers Association that was created in February 2016 with Ms. Lory Aya-ay as its president. The association as a micro-enterprise will focus on seaweed reproduction. The marketability of seaweeds makes it a more feasible project for the community.

357 members of the association were able to raise materials needed for the project which amounts to PHP 4,500.00. These members had already been trained by the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP volunteer in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). This had marked their first roll out for the project in February 2016. The Project Development Officer assisted the association to come up with a project proposal for additional funding for the plantation.

DSWD was able to fund the project with a total amount of PHP 808,962.00 where members currently generate an average annual income for the enterprise amounting to PHP 22,000.00 which had made an impact to the community.

The favorable coastal condition of the community made the production of seaweed propagates sustainability. Their hardwork also yielded frequent harvest and growing production in a short span of time.

Aside from the favorable economic results of the seaweed production, members also became more environmentally aware, thus maintaining their marine area free from illegal fishing activities. They become more responsible and vigilant in marine life protection and conservation, knowing that destruction of marine area will affect their primary livelihood.

Another impact of the project is that other fisher folks had refrained from engaging on illegal fishing activities as they saw the potential of seaweed farming as an alternative livelihood. The positive development in terms of economic stability, environmental awareness, and improved livelihood of the beneficiaries and the community are clear implications that the objectives of DSWD were met.

Members of the association are exerting collective efforts towards a goal of making a sustainable livelihood. The project that aimed to provide an extra economic power had a positive domino effect – a developed community resulting to well-groomed citizens living in a healthy environment.


DSWD-SLP Palawan


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Aborlan pushing for Organic Farming

Philippines is an agricultural country – with its abundant nature and good climate, a lot of local residents, especially on rural places, would engage in farming.

Zooming in lies the nature-loving province called Palawan. Located in the province is the municipality of Aborlan which is known as one of the biggest producers of agricultural products in southern Palawan.

Aborlan possesses a vast range of flat lands and terrains ideal for farming. Thus, it is no wonder that one of the major economic activities of the municipality is farming. It is practical that residents are taking advantage of their municipality’s features to have a livelihood; this was proven by the Participatory Livelihood Issue Analysis (PLIA) showing that there is a large number of farmers in Brgy. Barake engaged in vegetable production. This resulted to a formation of interested individuals into groups. A partnership engagement was established between Municipal Agriculture Office and Department of Social Welfare and Development – Sustainable Livelihood Program, in line with the thrust and priorities of Department of Agriculture to promote organic farming in Palawan and also to ensure the sustainability of the project.

This partnership aims to conduct skills training on organic vegetable farming with vermicomposting to provide skills and knowledge for the farmers on making organic pesticides and fertilizers using vermin-composting technology. This project possesses a wide range of economic and social benefits such as increasing the level of investment, aiding malnourishment in the community, and augmenting to the daily income of program participants to name a few.

The project started on January 25-26, 2016 through the collaborative effort of the Local Government Unit (LGU), BLGU, Western Philippines University (WPU), Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) and Convergence team of Aborlan. In two years of operation, May Gamala, a beneficiary of the program, had her own sari-sari store wherein the capital to build this store was earned from her profit in selling organic vegetables and vermicompost. Given the high value of organically grown vegetables and vermicompost, she roughly earns a minimum of PHP 8,000.00 a week. Nowadays, the awareness on health benefits of organic products continues to spread through social media.

Partnership engagement followed by continuous monitoring and coaching of the participants was sought to deliver quality service and ensure the sustainability of the project.

Program participants, on the other hand, share insights in the operation. The increasing income of the program participants would stimulate economic growth in the community, promote healthier lifestyle, and sustain healthy environment.


DSWD-SLP Palawan

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Soaring High Through Hog Raising

Filipinos are always practical; we do everything just to financially provide for our families in ways we know. We look around, and are always on the go to find livelihood projects that are beneficial and lucrative when fearlessly ventured.

The hog raising industry has been touted to be just such. Many Palaweños in the rural areas of Palawan still find it profitable notwithstanding the extreme hard work and unremitting patience the growers need to possess while raising the piglets. After all, the hog raising industry will generate income. Many residents in Brgy. San Juan in Aborlan are also into the hog-raising industry, as it provides them livelihood. It enables them to buy things for their children and pay the rent. While they are satisfied with the money the pigs sold put on their table, there’s something they lack: an association.

It was observed during the Sustainable Livelihood Program preliminaries in the barangay that all its residents possess the characteristics needed for the establishment of an association: camaraderie, unity, and willingness to learn. So formation of hog raising association they did. Through the help of the Community Core Group (CCG), a hog raising group with 41 households and leaders was formed within the four sitios of Brgy. San Juan. Aside from the formation of their association, hog raisers also went through trainings that opened their eyes to the challenges besetting the business, and the ways on how to overcome them to meet their targets.

Through the Local Government Units (LGUs) and National Government Agencies (NGAs), the trainings were made possible and series of lectures on hog-raising industry were presented to the participants.  The Western Philippines University (WPU) and Department of Agriculture (DA) served as instruments in the conduct of this endeavor. After the trainings, the participants were made to buy and raise two-month old piglets so after 3-4 months or 120 calendar days, the pigs weighing 85 kilos in average pegging at PHP 100.00 per kilo can then be sold in the market. After selling, they will have to buy another of the same age, so the cycle would repeat again.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – Sustainable Livelihood Program in partnership with LGUs, through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) along with BLGU, will ensure the success of the participants’ endeavor in hog raising using the knowledge they gained from the training and knowledge sharing.

The Municipal Agriculture Office will also continuously render technical assistance to the participants who are taking the risks of raising the hogs, to ensure their survival and productivity; the process is not easy because it is painstaking and taxing, given the food which the hog raisers need to give the pigs on top of its other needs before they are sold in the market.

Also with the help of different agencies, a communal hog raising project will also be launched this year in Brgy. San Juan, where a community piggery will already be made available to the participants. Once finalized and implemented, it will boost the income of the residents that will pique the economic growth in the community, or barangay for that matter, as it is seen to beef up the expenditures for goods and services, thus paving the way for economic and forward linkages for the betterment of the barangay.

The community piggery project will likewise boost the expansion of meat supply in the municipality of Aborlan, which will ensure food security to secure an escape from hunger in the community, in support of the national government’s food sufficiency goal. As such, the beneficiaries of the project shall be first and foremost the needy, but can however live up to the agreements and promises they make preceding the occupation of the community piggery. The project will give them the opportunity to possess a micro-enterprise of their own at the lowest possible cost. This will also provide them a venue to improve their living condition from the profits they will gain once hogs are sold which will, in a way, lift them from the stranglehold of penury.

There doesn’t seem to be a bigger impediment in the implementation of the project than the ones the implementers can handle; the minor ones are manageable. It accordingly will promote better welfare to the residents because it stimulates economic development in the municipality.


DSWD-SLP Palawan

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SLP Marinduque, Marinduque State College hold Skills Training for Meat Processing

In partnership with Marinduque State College (MSC), the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) conducted a series of skills training on meat processing last January 27-28 and February 2-3, 2018.

Participants from various barangays of Boac gathered at the food laboratory of MSC. The organizers also invited Ms. Nenita Gonzales and Ms. Ma. Edelwina Blasé who served as resource speakers for the training.

Participants answered the pre-test examination before they were assembled into smaller groups for the training proper. Some of the discussions include the principles and procedure of meat processing, meat preservation, and even food presentation which the participants enjoyed a lot.

Each group was then assigned to evaluate the performance and product of the other groups through food tasting. Two of the participants shared their insights on the overall training before the certificates and tokens were awarded to the speakers.

SLP partners with different service providers for the conduct of skills training to hone the participants on the modality they chose.



Pamela Ligas, Project Development Officer II, Marinduque

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