Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Virginia N. Orogo (left) hands over the P10,000 livelihood assistance (in the form of a cheque) to an internally displaced person (IDP) from Marawi during the launching of the provision of Seed Capital Fund under the Sustainable Livelihood Program to IDPs staying at Sarimanok Tent City in Barangay Marawi Poblacion. Also in the photo is DSWD Undersecretary for Promotive Programs Malou Turalde-Jarabe.

More than a year after the Marawi siege, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to help the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the city to rise from the rubble brought by the six-month-long war and bounce back to their normal lives.

Just recently, the DSWD, through its Field Offices (FOs) in Regions X and XII, launched the provision of seed capital fund under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to Marawi IDPs staying in Sarimanok Tent City, a temporary resettlement site located at Barangay Marawi Poblacion.

Most of the IDPs staying in the tent city are residents from the ground zero or the city’s most affected areas during the course of the war.

A total of 323 families from the resettlement site each received a P10,000 seed capital fund for a total of P3,230,000 from the Department during a simple launching and turnover ceremony held at the tent city last month.

Present during the launching were DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo, Task Force Bangon Marawi Field Office Manager and Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, Jr., DSWD Undersecretary for Promotive Programs Malou Turalde-Jarabe, DSWD FO X Regional Director Nestor B. Ramos, and FO XII Regional Director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha

Provision of seed capital fund is one of the modalities of SLP which includes a capacity-building grant for micro-enterprise development for the beneficiaries to enable them to set up a credit and savings facility and/or manage an individual or group enterprise.

Sec. Orogo handed over the livelihood aid to the beneficiaries and encouraged them to continue to rebuild their lives.

“Inyong payabungin ang naibigay na tulong ng DSWD SLP para sa inyong pagne-negosyo at mas palawakin pa ang kaalaman ninyo sa business at financial management. Sisibol ang iba’t-ibang negosyo sa Marawi at babagon ang Marawi (May you grow the aid provided by DSWD SLP in setting up small businesses and continue to expand your knowledge in business and financial management. Several enterprises will soon rise in Marawi),” Sec. Orogo said.

Some beneficiaries plan to use their livelihood grants in setting up community sari-sari stores and small cooperatives, while others plan to utilize the aid in fish vending, dressmaking, rice retailing, and in baking and selling of Maranao delicacies.

Almaira Abdulracman, an IDP from Raya Madaya II village and one of the beneficiaries of the seed capital fund, is grateful for the aid that she received. She is planning to start her small business soon.

“Buong buhay ko, hindi ko inisip na makakaranas ako ng ganitong trahedya. Maraming salamat kasi hindi kami pinapabayaan ng gobyerno, lalo na ng DSWD. Sila ang isa sa mga sumusuporta sa pangangailangan namin sa pagkain at ngayon, sa puhunan na pwedeng pang-negosyo (All my life, I never thought that I would experience this kind of tragedy. I thank the government, especially the DSWD, for helping us. They are the ones who supported our needs for food, and now, for capital that can be used for a small business),” she said.

Continuing provision of assistance

Recognizing the significance of providing sustainable sources of income for the Marawi IDPs, the DSWD has been implementing various livelihood and relief interventions for the displaced residents of the war-torn city. These include the provision of Cash-for-Building Livelihood Assets, Employment Assistance Fund, and Cash-For-Work program for recovery and rehabilitation community works.

“The DSWD is implementing several interventions to assist Marawi IDPs under the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Recovery and Rehabilitation Program (BMCRRP),” explained Sec. Orogo.

The assistance provided by the Department to 75,752 affected families (based on the unduplicated number of affected families) has already reached a total of P1,769,307,357.20 worth of services and interventions. This included relief and livelihood aid, Ramadan food packs and cash assistance, cash assistance under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), Cash-for-Work (CFW), and Kambalingan sa Marawi City.

In addition, 672 families who transferred to the Sagonsongan Transitory Site were provided with a total of P16,746,912 worth of services and interventions which included family food packs; hygiene, kitchen, family, sleeping kits; and, financial assistance.

As of July 31, 2018, there are still 1,675 families staying inside 23 evacuation centers in Regions X and ARMM, while 11,131 families are home-based IDPs from Regions VI, VII, IX, X, XI, XII, CARAGA, ARMM and other regions in Luzon.

“The DSWD is doing its best to stay on track with the release of assistance to Marawi IDPs. We have already submitted documents for the release of the transitory family support package and livelihood settlement grants to the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM),” assured Sec. Orogo. ###