As its contribution to the national government’s Boracay Emergency Employment Program (BEEP),  the  Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) today released the guidelines on the provision of livelihood assistance  to families and individuals affected by the temporary closure of Boracay to tourist through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

With the issuance of the guidelines,  DSWD-Field Office VI can already start providing livelihood assistance to Boracay residents and other Filipinos affected by the island’s closure to tourists.

According to DSWD Acting Secretary Virginia N. Orogo, the DSWD-SLP primary aims to address the needs of the displaced workers from the informal sector through the provision of grants for alternative income-generating activities such as engaging in micro-enterprises or employment.

The guidelines  explain the processes of identification of eligible recipients and the overall management of the processing and monitoring of livelihood assistance to affected families and individuals.

Eligible families and individuals include residents or non-residents of Boracay with at least one family member in the informal sector prior to the closure of the island. These are the self-employed, occasionally or personally hired workers, sub-contracted workers, homeworkers, micro-entrepreneurs and producers, operators of sari-sari stores, carpenters, construction workers, repair services, agricultural workers, interpreters, tour guides, and coordinators, among others.

Also included among eligible families and individuals are those in the master list of validated families and individuals of DSWD and former recipients of SLP assistance prior to the closure of the place.

SLP assistance may be in the form of Micro-enterprise Assistance Grant (MAG) to be used as capital for a certain micro-enterprise venture or as additional capital for new or existing enterprises; Employment Support Grant (ESG)  to be used to augment the expenses to be incurred in securing documents for employment such as payment of certifications (birth certificate, NBI, etc), food and transportation in securing pre-employment documents, employment kits, and food and transportation allowance during the first month of employment;  and,  Livelihood Asset Rehabilitation Grant (LARG) which provides for the payment of allowance for a short-term work rendered by a member of an eligible family, not exceeding 15 days.

The LARG utilizes the Cash-for-Work (CFW) scheme where beneficiaries render work involving rehabilitation, development, and building of livelihood assets in or outside Boracay Island, such as cleaning of wetlands, mangrove cleaning or reforestation, tree planting and the like. The DSWD has amended the previous rate of assistance for the CFW. Beneficiaries under the CFW program will now receive 100% of the regional wage rate rather than 75%. In the Western Visayas, the existing regional minimum wage rate is P323.50/day.

Similarly, for affected migrant workers who have returned to their original regions outside of Iloilo, they will also receive the established minimum wage in their respective regions.

“The increased rate of assistance is meant to help alleviate the economic difficulties of Filipinos affected by the Boracay closure,” Acting Sec. Orogo said.

The CFW scheme can be accessed by said eligible individuals for 30 days. Among those who are eligible are workers and employees displaced because of the Boracay closure; those who returned to their hometowns; those who transferred employment; and those who migrated to other provinces.

“Alam nating mahirap mawalan ng pagkakakitaan lalo na kung may mga pinapag-aral na mga anak, kaya’t gagawin ng pamahalaan ang lahat upang matulungan natin ang mga kababayan nating apektado ng pansamantalang pagsasara ng isla ng Boracay sa mga turista (We know it is difficult to lose one’s source of income especially if we have children who are still in school, so the government will do everything to help our countrymen affected by the temporary closure of Boracay island to tourists), “ Acting Sec Orogo ended. ###