DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program aims for long-term impact for beneficiaries

The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) now aims to provide long-term impact to program beneficiaries with its five-year sustainability plan, an agency official said on Thursday (February 22) at the DSWD Media Forum.

DSWD Assistant Secretary for Specialized Programs under the Operations Group and concurrent SLP officer-in-charge Florentino Loyola Jr emphasized that the agency has improved and enhanced the implementation of the SLP through its ‘Sibol’ five-year livelihood sustainability plan.

“Ito [five-year sustainability plan] ang pinaka-recent na enhancement dito sa [SLP] na directive po ng ating Secretary Rex Gatchalian na talagang, ang gusto kasi natin ay long term ang tulong sa ating mga kababayan. Talagang ma-emphasize natin ang sustainability sa ating Sustainable Livelihood Program,” Asst. Sec. Loyola told reporters at the media forum.

(This is the most recent enhancement here in the SLP, a directive from our Secretary Rex Gatchalian. What we really want is long-term assistance for our fellow citizens. We truly want to emphasize sustainability in our Sustainable Livelihood Program.)

Under the sustainability plan, the program participants will need a longer incubation period, starting from year 2 to year 5 through intensified capability-building activities and additional livelihood incentives for livelihood sustainability and resiliency.

Asst. Sec. Loyola said the sustainability plan also paves the way to increase the grants and provide incentives to SLP Associations (SLPAs) that take the program’s Micro-enterprise Development Track (MDT), as they grow their businesses or livelihood.

“Sa programang ito, five years natin silang imo-imonitor. At ang kagandahan din po ng programang ito, na-incentivize na po  ito, unlike noong mayroon tayong two year incubation lamang,” the DSWD official noted.

(In this program, we will monitor them for five years. And the beauty of this program is that it has been incentivized, unlike before when we only had a two-year incubation period.)

Asst. Sec. Loyola said SLP Associations will receive Php100,000 in product diversification and development grants for the first two years, and another Php100,000 in sustainable employment grants for their third year in the program.

“Talagang e-enganyuhin natin ang ating mga kababayan na talagang pag-ibayuhin ang kanilang mga negosyo na mapaunlad,” Asst. Sec. Loyola pointed out.

(We will really encourage our participants to truly enhance and develop their businesses.)

Successful SLPAs that complete the five-year plan will also be granted a maximum of Php250,000 in livelihood grants as part of their actual graduation from the program, according to the SLP OIC.

Asst. Sec. Loyola added: “Kasama na rin diyan sa five-year sustainability plan natin na from informal business, matutulungan natin sila na ma-formalize.”

(Part of our five-year sustainability plan is to assist them in formalizing their businesses, starting from informal ones.)

The SLP, as mentioned by Asst. Sec. Loyola, will also help the associations in the facilitation of the necessary permits and documents from the concerned agencies for the long-term operations of their businesses.

The SLP OIC also recommended aspiring business owners to form an association to avail of bigger grants and to undergo the MD Track of the SLP.

“Maaaring makatanggap ang ating qualified beneficiaries ng Php15,000 na seed capital o puhunan para sa indibidwal, kung kayo po ay nag-form ng association, ang grant po na binibigay natin ay Php20,000 kada benepisyaryo,” Asst. Sec. Loyola explained.

(Our qualified beneficiaries may receive Php15,000 as seed capital funds for individuals. If you form an association, the grant we provide is Php20,000 per beneficiary.)

To be eligible for the SLP, an association must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 members who are at least 16 years old with legal consent from guardians or parents, and should belong to the poor, marginalized, vulnerable and/or disadvantaged households, identified by the National Household targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or Listahanan.

Sibol, as the new brand of the DSWD’s SLP, represents the step-by-step growth in the journey of its participants toward improved well-being with equitable access to livelihood assets and resources. #