“Nandito ang Sustainable Livelihood Program ng DSWD para tulungang makatayo sa kanilang sariling paa ang mahihirap nating kababayan sa pamamagitan ng mga programang iniaalay nito (The Sustainable Livelihood Program of the DSWD is here to help our poor fellow citizens to stand on their own feet through the different programs it offers).”
This was the message of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo as she attended yesterday the commencement exercises of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) beneficiaries of DSWD-Field Office (FO) in Negros Island Region (NIR). The event was held at People’s Hall Canopy in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.
The graduation of the beneficiaries had the theme, “Benepisyaryo nga mapisan mangin kaupod sa pag-uswag sang sosyudad nga sabat man sa pag tin-ad (Hardworking beneficiaries will be partners for a progressive community which is the answer to prosperity).”
A total of 84 beneficiaries who are also members of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the DSWD graduated from Housekeeping and Food Processing courses; 32 received their National Certificate II in Housekeeping, while 52 beneficiaries obtained their certificate in Food Processing.
The technical vocational courses were provided by DSWD-partner educational institutions namely, Excelsius Technical and Vocational Training Center (ETVTC) and Oropolis Community Development Foundation, Inc. (OCDFI).
“Congratulations to Field Office NIR for this graduation. Ang isa naton ka direksyon nga ang 4Ps unti-unti ng maka graduate kag matagaan sang suporta sang SLP (Congratulations to Field Office NIR for this graduation. What we want is for our 4Ps beneficiaries to graduate from different skills-enhancement courses and be given support from SLP),” Sec. Taguiwalo said using her native language.
Present during the ceremony were DSWD-NIR Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Regional Director Shalaine Marie S. Lucero; ETVTC Administrator Amelia Perez; ETVTC President Atty. Juan Orola Jr.; and the local executives of Himaymalayan City, including Mayor Agustin Ernesto G. Bascon; Vice Mayor Carminia G. Bascon; City Councilors Justin Dominic S. Gatuslao and Emmanuel Castro.
Sec. Taguiwalo also led the inauguration and project turn-over of 52 Food Cart and Starter Kits to the Food Processing graduates to help them start their own business. It has a total budget allocation of P1.04 million.
The Secretary also turned-over to Aguisan Livelihood Association (AguiLA), an SLP association composed of 89 4Ps beneficiaries in Brgy. Aguisan, the Aguila Water Refilling Station with Convenience Store. The project, which is worth P890,000, was funded under the Seed Capital Fund (SCF) of the SLP.
“Ang mga Pantawid beneficiaries maghambal na matagaan sila obra kay para igo pang eskwela sa ila mga anak. Amo na nga ari ang SLP para mabuligan kamo matindog sa inyong kaugalingon nga mga paa (Our Pantawid beneficiaries are hoping to have their own small businesses to be able to fully support the education of their children. That is why we have SLP that will help them rise from poverty, enabling them to eventually stand in their own feet),” she explained.
Better sources of living
Emelda Pandis, one of the Food Processing graduates who received a food cart and starter kit, said that DSWD’s SLP gave her a better source of living. A resident of Barangay 3 GK Homes and a mother of seven, Emelda shared that she is very excited to use the food cart, as she has been selling fish balls and rice cakes for years by going around their barangay under the heat of the sun.
“Kung may ara na food cart, indi nako maglako pa. Istambay na lang ako sa isa ka pwesto (If I have a food cart, I do not need to sell my food products by going from one place to another. I will just stay in one place and sell),” she said.
On the other hand, Nadia Pronto, one of the 32 graduates of Housekeeping NC II, said that the opportunity provided by SLP is a blessing to her. A daughter of a housewife and a tricycle driver, Nadia said the course helped diversify her skills, giving her another source of income to help her parents.
“Nagapasalamat gid kami nga dako sang DSWD kay ara na gid kami pangabuhian (We want to thank the DSWD for giving us sources of livelihood),” said Emaladel Apuhan, a Food Processing graduate and also a recipient of the food cart.
“Napakahalaga ng ating mga pagsisikap at patuloy na pag-aaral, mga kababayan. Alam nating lahat na madalas ay kulang, limitado, o delayed ang mga tulong na kayang ibigay ng ating pamahalaan. Hindi natin agad-agad nakukuha ang mga kailangan nating tulong pag kailangang-kailangan natin ito. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit importante na tayo mismo ang gumagawa ng paraan na palakasin ang ating mga kakayanang maka-agapay sa kahirapan at sa mga hamong dala nito (It is very important to persevere and to continuously learn. We all know that government aid is limited and most of the time, delayed. We do not always get help whenever we need it. This is the reason why it is important that we, ourselves, do something to enhance our livelihood skills to be able to fight poverty and the many challenges it brings),” Sec. Taguiwalo said.
Aside from NIR, 4Ps beneficiaries in other regions such as Regions IX, X, and XI have also finished technical vocational courses in partnership with TESDA-accredited institutions. ###