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Health first—prioritizing children’s health for a better future

After a week of fighting dengue fever, Melany Caday‟s two sons are finally out in the hospital.

Melany, 40, cannot hide her relief even after seeing their hospital bill.

Normally, she would fret about where to borrow money to cover for the payment of the bills whenever a member of their family is hospitalized. As a „kakanin‟ vendor and a beauty product dealer with a husband who is an on-call construction worker, she admits to not having enough savings for emergency purposes such as this.

But at that time, she had no worries.

 

Prioritizing the health of the family

Melany, a resident of Brgy. Cometa in the island municipality of Quezon, Quezon Province, animatedly shares how she‟s not afraid to bring family members to the hospital even when she knows they have no extra cash.

“Noon, madalas na magkasakit ang mga anak ko pero talagang dinadala ko sila sa ospital kapag nagkakasakit na. Ang sa akin, importante na maging ligtas sila, kaya kahit walang pera, sige lang. Bahala na kaming dumiskarte „pag lalabas na,” she said.

Today, however, Melany is grateful that she no longer has this problem.

As a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Melany‟s family has been entitled to the National Health Insurance Program (PhilHealth).

The Pantawid Pamilya is a human capital development program of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to qualified poor families to support zero to 18 years old children‟s needs on health, nutrition and education.

Since beneficiaries of the program are based on the database of poor households of the DSWD‟s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, now Listahanan, which is the basis of the identification of PhilHealth‟s sponsored program for those needing urgent assistance, all Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and their qualified dependents were automatically enrolled through PhilHealth Circular No. 24, Series of 2012.

Beginning 2012, all Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries can avail benefits including primary care package, inpatient and outpatient care services, and No Balance Billing Policy.

This was great news for Melany as this greatly supported her concern for the health of her family.

Last November, Melany‟s two sons—Ken Manuel, 13 and Daniel, 11—were confined in a hospital in Gumaca town. Because of her family‟s sponsored PhilHealth membership, the insurance covered every peso of their PhP20,000 bill.

“Kung walang PhilHealth, hindi ko talaga kayang magbayad ng PhP20,000 paglabas namin ng ospital. Napakalaking tulong po na hindi na kami mangungutang at poproblemahin pa ang pambayad sa opsital,” she gratefully shared.

 

Importance of good health

For Melany, investing on the health of her children is a priority as it is where everything starts.

“Napaka-importante na napapangalagaan ang kalusugan ng pamilya, lalong lalo na ang mga bata. Sa kanilang maayos na kalusugan, hindi sila uma-absent sa school at madali silang natututo,” said Melany, who thanks the Pantawid Pamilya for emphasizing to every parent the importance of the health besides the education of the children.

Further, she mentions the Family Development Sessions (FDS) of the Pantawid Pamilya program that parent-grantees like her attend to monthly.

“Mas napalakas ng aming mga pag-aaral sa FDS ang pagpapahalaga ng mga magulang sa kalusugan ng mga bata katulad ng regular na pagpapacheck-up, paghahanda ng masustansyang pagkain at paglilinis ng kapaligiran,” Melany added.

In the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilya program, household-beneficiaries are provided with PhP500 monthly health grant to support the health needs of children, especially those zero to five years old. The provision of the said grant is granted to the household upon compliance to program conditions such as monthly preventive health checkups and monthly attendance to FDS.

The FDS is a monthly gathering of parent-grantees facilitated by the DSWD City / Municipal Links, local government partners and civil society organization partners. Sessions include strengthening marital relations, children‟s rights, health and sanitation, budget management and disaster preparedness among others.

For a mother like Melany, having partners to ensure the good health of her children is a big relief.

Without worrying about the health of her children, Melany focuses on working hard to ensure that she and her husband can better provide for their family‟s needs, especially in ensuring the good future of their three children.XXX

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NTSB residents finish elementary education

Twelve residents of the National Training School for Boys (NTSB) in Tanay, Rizal graduated from Jose Fabella Memorial School last March 23.

 

These residents are children-in-conflict with the law (CICLs) who are receiving protection and parental care in the center, which is managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

 

The NTSB provides various services to CICLs who are on suspended sentence, with case on trial, servicing sentence or on diversion. Services such as formal education, counseling and livelihood trainings guide them through rehabilitation and prepare them for adjustment with their family and community after discharge.

 

With the theme “Sabay-sabay na hakbang tungo sa maunlad na kinabukasan,” the graduation ceremony encouraged the center residents to use the second chance provided to them to be better individuals and achieve their dreams.

 

DSWD IV-A Regional Director Leticia T. Diokno, in her message during the ceremony, congratulated the graduates and acknowledged their perseverance to finish their primary education. She further encouraged them to continue their education until they achieve their dreams.

 

Dir. Diokno also emphasized that the DSWD, through the staff in the center, will continuously provide services to help each of them become better individuals.

 

During the graduation ceremony, other students in the JFMS were also awarded with medals and certificates of recognition.# with reports from JGCaño

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New skills—a family’s key towards achieving dreams

For the America Family, acquiring new knowledge is all it takes to change their lives.

 

Couple Mario and Liza America of Brgy. Bukal in Jomalig, Quezon Province used to provide for the needs of their six children through Mario’s income as an on-call laborer. There were times when they sell vegetables they have grown in the backyard as an added source of income.

 

Today, however, Mario has a hollow block-making business and Liza has a sari-sari store. Two of their children are in college.

 

For the two of them, life is a lot better today because they have chased opportunities that came along the way.

 

Raising the family together

Liza, 42, who married at the age of 15, believed that raising the family is a man’s responsibility.

 

Noon, inaasa ko lang lahat sa kanya, pero kulang lagi para sa aming pamilya. Natutunan ko na dapat pala magtulungan ang mag-asawa,” shared Liza, who said she learned this from the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS) she attends to as a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

 

The America Family is one of the 706 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the said municipality since 2010. As part of the co-responsibilities of the program, parent-grantees are required to attend monthly FDS that discuss various topics on family strengthening, children’s rights and budget management among others.

 

Liza became determined to help her husband; however, she did not know where to begin. She knows that selling vegetables and ‘kakanin’ from time to time, is not enough.

In 2014, Liza eagerly participated when she heard about the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), another program of the DSWD. The SLP prioritizes Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries to capacitate them towards micro-enterprise development or gainful employment.

 

That year, community residents were oriented on starting a small enterprise including financial management.

 

Nakahiram ako ng PhP10,000 na puhunan mula sa SLP na ginamit ko para magtayo ng maliit na sarisari store at makabili ng alagang baboy,” said Liza.

 

She carefully managed the capital and diligently saved PhP330 per week as payment for the capital assistance. In one year, she is able to return the PhP10,000 capital assistance, which enabled her to borrow PhP20,000 from the program.

 

Ginamit ko ito para mas mapalago ang aming tindahan. Ngayon, ang tindahan na ang aming pangunahing pinagkukunan ng kita. Nakabili na rin kami ng motorsiklo mula sa ipon sa tindahan na aming ginagamit na rin sa pagnenegosyo,” shared Liza proudly.

 

Further, Liza’s income in managing the store allowed them to support their children in school. For the couple, it is important that they ensure all their children finish college so they’ll find better jobs in the future.

 

Never too late to learn

Besides the provision of capital assistance for micro-enterprise development, the SLP also provides various skills trainings to beneficiaries to equip them with skills for a gainful employment.

 

Mario completed the Carpentry, Masonry and Plumbing Skills Training in 2016.

 

Ngayong mas marami na akong alam na skills sa pagkakarpintero, mas marami na akong nagagawa at mas malaki na ang kinikita ko,” said Mario, 51.

 

He also learned how to make hollow blocks from the training and now earns extra for the family.

 

Their eldest child, May, 25, has also finished a cosmetology training and according to Mario and Liza, their daughter uses her new skills to earn while attending school.

 

Kapag wala s’yang klase, nagseservice s’ya ng manicure at pedicure para makadagdag sa kanyang allowance,” shared Liza.

 

Their son, Marlon, 22, has also recently completed a tour guiding training. Since their town is becoming popular to local tourists, Marlon can use this training to earn. A tour guide in Jomalig earns a minimum of PhP300 per tourist.

 

Taking responsibility

For the America Family, being provided with opportunities from the national government comes with a big responsibility.

 

Madami nang naibigay sa amin pero ang pinakang hamon namin ay gamitin nang maayos ang mga ito at patuloy na paunlarin pa ang aming buhay,” said Liza.

 

For Mario and Liza, these opportunities to learn continuously lead them towards their dream for the family. And as long as they have these knowledge and skills, they’re confident that they’ll find a way to improve their lives.#

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Jomalig residents start beach resort operation for their livelihood

  • A total of 255 residents of Jomalig, Quezon Province are now owners of a beach resort in the island
    municipality through the capital assistance provided by the Department of Social Welfare and
    Development (DSWD) under its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).
    Of this number, 181 are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program while the rest are
    indigent members of barangays Apad and Bukal.
    The beneficiaries, organized as the Humalik Beach Resort SLP Association, were granted a total of
    PhP2.55 Million as seed capital fund under the SLP, which they used as capital in the construction and
    initial operation of the Humalik Beach Resort located in Barangay Apad.
    The resort, which was opened last March 7, offers air-conditioned rooms, function hall, tent rentals and
    island tours among others.
    As owners of the resort, all the beneficiaries can earn through dividends in the monthly income of the
    resort as well as earn individually through various income-generating opportunities such as
    employment, tour guiding, selling of produce like fish and crops, and sand massage.
    Jomalig is the farthest and smallest island municipality of Quezon Province and has recently been
    gaining popularity among local tourists because of its unspoiled golden sand beaches.
    Community enterprise
    Rhuel Rodriguez, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary and the president of the SLP association, shared that
    the concept of a beach resort as a community business arose because of the emerging tourism in their
    island municipality.
    Unti-unti nang nakikilala ang Jomalig dahil sa ganda ng mga beaches na hindi pa naaabot ng
    komersyalismo. Kaya naisip namin na resort ang gawing negosyo na popondahan sa ilalim ng SLP,
    shared Rodriguez.
    Jason Coronacion, the Project Development Officer of DSWD assigned in the municipality, said that
    since the locality has tourism potentials based on their initial study, the beach resort project was
    immediately supported and funded by the agency.
    All the beneficiaries underwent orientation and training on basic micro-enterprise development, which
    helped them in the conceptualization, construction and implementation of the Humalik Beach Resort.
    As part of the agreement of the association, all members will receive a dividend from 20 percent of the
    total earnings of the resort. The other 80 percent will be used for the improvement and expansion of
    the facility.
    Individual opportunities for income generation
    Rodriguez added that besides the income of the resort, all the members of the association can earn
    individually, too to help them support their families.
    For instance, in the construction of the resort, those who were hired for the daily labor were members
    of the association.
    Bukas din ang resort na bumili ng mga produkto katulad ng mga isda at gulay mula sa mga miyembro
    kapag nag-umpisa na ang catering dito,
    said Rodriguez.
    Meanwhile, workers assigned in the management of the resort, cleaners, tourist guides are also
    members.
    Cerlina Hidalgo, 38, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary and an association member, sees future guests as
    customers for her small kakanin business.
    Improved lives through tourism, participation
    During the opening of the resort, Milantie Aceveda, regional program coordinator of the SLP in the
    CALABARZON Region, encouraged the beneficiaries to work together to ensure the success of the
    business. He added that the DSWD will continuously collaborate with the local government of Jomalig
    as well as other partners to help the association.
    Merlie Del Castillo, tourism officer of Jomalig, said that the Humalik Beach Resort is a welcome addition
    in the growing tourism industry of the island and committed to promote the resort to the tourists.
    Rodriguez further shared that they eye expanding their facility as the resort operates and earns.
    Naniniwala ako na magiging matagumpay ito lalo na kung lahat kami ay magtutulungan at magkakaisa
    para sa aming proyekto,
    Rodriguez said.
    The SLP is a community-driven enterprise development program that seeks to improve the economic
    sufficiency of program participants through capacity building for either micro-enterprise development
    or employment facilitation. The SLP prioritizes beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya program to provide
    families with income-generating opportunities towards improving their living condition.#

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Gaining something bigger. A future teacher’s journey to a better life

  • When the last of their animals had been sold, she thought it’s the end of her dream of a college
    diploma.
    Starting 2013, when she enrolled in Laguna State Polytechnic University for a Bachelor’s Degree
    in Elementary Education, Maria Lyza Dioquino’s parents would sell a carabao every enrolment
    period to pay for her tuition.
    Lyza, 19, a resident of Brgy. Masikap in Real town, Quezon Province, never thought she’ll enter
    college in the first place. However, her parents have always been persistent about their
    education.
    “Sa kagustuhan ng mga magulang ko na makatapos ako ng kolehiyo, gumagawa sila ng
    paraan. Lagi nilang sinasabi sa aming magkakapatid na dapat naming pahalagahan at isapuso
    ang aming pag-aaral,”
    recalled Lyza, who has four other siblings.
    Her parents’ persistence inspired Lyza to focus on her studies and ensure she’ll get a diploma,
    find a good job and help improve her family’s living condition. Through the years, it is only her
    father, Edwin, 46, who supports their family of seven through farming and being an on-call
    laborer in their far-flung barangay.
    “Pero dumating sa punto na kailangan ko nang tumigil sa pag-aaral dahil wala na kaming
    maibentang hayop,”
    she shared.
    Fortunately, Lyza’s dream did not end there.
    Creating opportunities for poor families
    Lyza’s family has been a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program since 2011.
    According to Jennifer, 40, Lyza’s mother, the program has helped with the needs on health and
    education of her children. However, it is the opportunity to help Lyza continue her dreams that
    make their family even more grateful.
    The Pantawid Pamilya program, through the provision of conditional cash grants to poor
    children, aims to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through ensuring that children are
    healthy and in school. The DSWD, through the help of various stakeholders including other
    national government agencies, civil society organizations and local government units, promote
    convergence of efforts to help these family-beneficiaries improve their level of well-being.
    To ensure that at least one member of family-beneficiaries finish college and get better jobs in
    the future, qualified beneficiaries are provided opportunities for a college education through the
  • Expanded Student Grants-inAid Program for Poverty Alleviation(ESGPPA) of the Commission
    on Higher Education.
    The ESGPPA is a college grant amounting to PhP30,000 per semester that covers tuition, board
    and lodging and other school-related expenses such as textbooks, uniform and school supplies.
    Lyza became one of the 2,707 ESGPPA grantees in the CALABARZON Region enrolled in
    different state universities in the region’s five provinces.
    Dahil sa ESGPPA, hindi ko na kinailangang tumigil ng pag-aaral. Lahat ng pangangailangan ko
    sa school ay napunan na,”
    shared Lyza gratefully.
    Dreams within reach
    Today, Lyza is just a few months away from her college diploma.
    Being raised in a far-flung barangay where a high school education, much more a college
    education, seems distant, Lyza cannot contain her happiness that she’ll soon become a teacher.
    Isa lang ang school sa barangay namin. Nasa ibang bayan (Pangil, Laguna) na ang high school
    kung gugustuhin ng mga magulang at mga bata na magpatuloy ng pag-aaral,”
    said her mother.
    For Lyza, being given the chance to finish high school and now get a college diploma is a big
    blessing for their family.
    “Lagi kong pinagbubuti ang aking pag-aaral dahil ito ang makakatulong sa aming pamilya.
    Inspirasyon ko sila para makapagtapos at makahanap ng trabaho para matulungan ko rin ang
    aking mga kapatid,
    said Lyza.
    Her parents might have lost the animals that have become their source of income, but with her
    college graduation, Lyza is positive that they have gained something biggerwhich is an
    education that will open better opportunities for her whole family and their community.# with reports from ROJapor

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DSWD recognizes partners and employees, challenges to serve with “May Malasakit”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IV-A celebrates its 66th Founding Anniversary last February 14-15, 2017 at Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
With the theme: “May Malasakit”, the two-day celebration highlighted the successes of the Department in improving the capacity of its stakeholders as well as recognized the efforts of both partners and staff in ensuring the quality of the delivery of programs and services to those in need.
In her State of the Region Address, DSWD IV-A Regional Director Leticia T. Diokno reported the accomplishments of the region from the previous year. This signifies the effectiveness of the various strategies and interventions of the Department and other development partners.
By the end of 2016, 1,254 Pantawid household-beneficiaries have improved their status from survival to subsistence while 100,860 of the beneficiaries moved from subsistence to self-sufficiency.
32,518 of these Pantawid family-beneficiaries were served with microenterprise and employment facilitation through the Sustainable Livelihood Program, a core social protection program of the Department.
In terms of the access to the social welfare and development (SWD) programs, 343,222 of the poor households in the region, identified by the DSWD’s Listahanan targeting system are covered by at least two SWD programs and services.
In order to ensure the delivery of SWD services, the functionality of the local social welfare and development offices (LSWDOs) were assessed in terms of their program operations and management. As of 2016, ten of the LSWDOs in the region are classified fully functional.
Recognizing collective efforts
As part of the first day of the celebration, the Department recognized its valuable and distinguished partners for their commitment and magnanimous support toward the Department’s endeavor to help the poor and the disadvantaged.
A total of 71 donors, civil society organizations, people’s organizations, local government units and national government agencies received the Salamat Po! and PaNata Awards.
The Salamat Po! Awards were given to partners who gave support and assistance to the implementation of the Department’s programs and services. Likewise, the Pagkilala sa Natatanging Kontribusyon sa Bayan or PaNata Awards were given to partners who exhibited exemplary contributions to achieve the Department’s goals.
Awards include best volunteer, best public-private partnership, best initiative and best non-government organizations.
In recognition to these partners, DSWD’s Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Jose Antonio Hernandez emphasized in his message the importance of their initiatives and innovations in improving the services for the stakeholders. According to him, their efforts signify their genuine intention and heart to help the poor and the vulnerable communities in the region.
Another part of the celebration is the awarding of the DSWD staff who rendered transcendent public service for the Department’s beneficiaries and clients.
A total of 37 retirees, loyalty and service awardees were recognized during the PRogram on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence or PRAISE Awarding ceremony.
The PRAISE awards were given to staff who exhibited outstanding performance and benevolent service for the beneficiaries and clients of the Department.
Ms. Mary Magdalene Peyes, one of the awardees, shared her experience as part of the Department for 35 years.
“I am truly grateful to the people who became part of my life as a social worker. Ever since, the Department and my mentors have nurtured me and helped me hone my skills and knowledge to be able to provide a dedicated service to the people”, she said.
Celebrating as one family
DSWD staff from the field office and the five provinces in CALABARZON participated during the second day of the celebration.
As part the program, the provinces performed their respective festivals namely Sublian, Higantes, Niyogyugan and Paru-Paro festival. The performances exhibited their creativity and resourcefulness. Subsequently, a communal meal or boodle fight was prepared for lunch.
During the afternoon, the staff further demonstrated their camaraderie and sportsmanship in the “Palaro ng Lahi” or Filipino games.
“More that the oath as public servants, we are here in DSWD because each one of us has the heart to serve the disadvantaged regardless of the challenges. Thus, we continue to ensure that our service is “maagap at mapagkalinga,” may patas na pagtrato sa komunidad,” at “tapat at walang puwang sa katiwalian”, a service that is “May Malasakit”, said Dir. Diokno.

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San Antonio LGU prove effective leadership through community-driven development

The Local Government Unit (LGU) of San Antonio in Quezon Province shared that the people’s participation in the local development process has created a positive impact to the municipality’s growth. This was reported by town’s chief executive, Mayor Erick Wagan, to the delegates of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Civil Service Commission (CSC) during the Leadership Development Strategy Workshop recently held in the municipality.

The said workshop is a research initiative of ADB and CSC to develop capability building trainings for local leaders specifically on strengthening their leadership strategies on community-driven development (CDD).

The LGU of San Antonio was chosen for the baseline research as they have been using the CDD strategy in their governance since 2012 with their engagement to the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

For years, Mayor Wagan shared that through Kalahi-CIDSS, they are conducting community consultation activities such as the Participatory Situational Analysis (PSA) wherein local residents identify the pressing needs in their community and suggest projects to address these. They have also expanded their Municipal Development Council wherein more than half of the members are representatives of civil society organizations so different sectors can lobby their concerns.

Through this, the LGU was able to strategize which projects to prioritize and will be proposed to other agencies and organizations for funding and implementation assistance.

Last 2016, they were able to implement at least 20 community-driven projects that were mostly farm-to-market roads. The roads are highly prioritized by the people since most of them rely on farming to gain income. With the new roads, it is now convenient for the farmers to transport their products to the market and they earn more since their products are sold fresh on a higher price.

Mayor Wagan added that such results have empowered the people to speak and act more for the welfare of their communities. The residents are continuously engaging in community consultation dialogues and are even offering to work for free to help in the construction of projects.

“Naramdaman nila na may boses sila at pinapakinggan sila ng gobyerno. Nagkaroon din sila ng sense of ownership sa mga proyekto kaya handa silang tumulong para dito,” Mayor Wagan said.

For instance, the residents are forming groups in their barangay to manage the operations and maintenance of the projects. One of which is the Brgy. Pulo Water System Association (BAPWASA) that regulates the residents’ water use and conducts regular cleaning of the water tank to ensure the sustainability of the project. They also manage the maintenance fund for future repairs and improvements.

“Dati ay hirap na hirap kami sa tubig at umaasa lamang sa bukal. Ngayon na nagkaroon na kami ng regular at malinis na suplay ng tubig, pangangalagaan namin ito para mas marami pa ang makinabang,” said Gloria Rearte, the president of BAPWASA.

According to Minette Soriano, the Leadership Development Specialist of ADB, the LGU’s effective leadership reflects on having responsible and participative citizens. She added that this shows how the CDD strategy can create a good relationship between the LGUs and the people.

“They have a clear and united vision for their town. This guides them in achieving the development they want for their communities that indeed led them to success,” said Soriano.

On the other hand, CSC Director Maricar Aquino said that the success of CDD in San Antonio is a proof that the strategy can also work in other towns. She added that the experiences shared by the people will help them improve and develop new leadership trainings for local leaders towards an effective implementation of CDD.

The ADB and CSC said that they will roll-out the new leadership trainings before the year ends. They will also have separate capability building trainings for community volunteers to continuously shape them to become active on community development. xxx

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One store, two businesses and 46 dreams

In a street in the town proper of Agdangan, a store is open from 6AM to 6PM daily. At least four women spend the day manning up the establishment just like every typical business in the area.

 

However, something is different in this establishment.

 

It houses two businesses—a grocery and a feeds supply store.

 

Their coming together in one establishment holds a story of an effort to converge new businesswomen to help their respective businesses grow and ensure a better direction for their respective families.

In August 2016, the two stores opened after a tedious set of tasks from the planning, training and securing necessary permits to the actual setting up of the store.

 

These two businesses were opened through the seed capital assistance provided to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program under another program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which is the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

 

The grocery store is owned by 25 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries from Brgy. Poblacion 1 while the feeds supply store is owned by 21 beneficiaries from Brgy. Poblacion 2 in Agdangan town in Quezon Province.

 

Starting a business together

The Pantawid Pamilya is a human capital development program of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to qualified poor families in support to the needs on health and education of zero to 18 years old children.

 

In the CALABARZON Region, there are 316,033 household-beneficiaries of this program.

 

In line with the DSWD’s goal of uplifting the lives of these beneficiaries and ensuring that they can stand on their own even when they no longer are supported by the Pantawid Pamilya program, these beneficiaries are prioritized in the SLP.

 

The SLP provides capacity building to partner-beneficiaries to help increase their economic sufficiency through employment facilitation or micro-enterprise development.

 

In February 2016, the two groups of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Agdangan were organized and subjected to capacity building to prepare them for opening up their respective businesses.

 

“Napagkaisahan naming mga miyembro na magtayo ng isang grocery store para maging tulong hindi lang sa aming 25 miyembro kundi sa iba pang mga benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilya dito sa aming lugar. Sa aming tindahan, mas makakabili sila ng murang produkto para sa kanilang pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan,” said Janet Panopio, 40, the president of the Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran SLP Association.

 

On the other hand, Liza Bay, 43, the treasurer of the Mapayapang Poblacion 2 SLP Association, shared that they opted to start a feeds supply business because they see good demand for this business.

 

“Marami dito sa aming bayan ang nagnenegosyo ng pag-aalaga ng hayop kaya ito na rin ang naisipan naming negosyo,” shared Liza.

 

To ensure that there is no duplication of businesses and that proper businesses are started, the DSWD field workers for both Pantawid Pamilya and SLP plan together with the beneficiaries.

 

“Gina-guide namin sila sa pagpili ng mga nararapat na negosyo ayon sa kanilang kakayahan at sa pangangailangan sa lugar,” Darold Jopson, Pantawid Pamilya Municipal Link (ML) assigned in Agdangan, shared.

 

Further, with discussions and planning, strategies are employed for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

 

“Dahil iisa naman ang target na customers ng dalawang grupo, humanap kami ng isang pwesto na maaari nilang paghatian. Sa renta nila kada buwan, naghahati ang dalawang grupo kaya nakakabawas sila sa gastusin,” added Jopson.

 

Besides sharing a shop, the two stores also schedule their buying of supplies in the neighboring town so that they can both save on transportation expenses.

 

Businesses for the poor

The business owners, being all from poor families, understand that they are not just operating their businesses for their own advantage.

 

“Karamihan sa amin dito ay lingguhan ang kita o minsan pa ay wala, kaya nakakatulong ang tindahan para sa pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan. Nakakakuha sila dito ng produkto na babayaran na lang makalipas ang tatlong araw,” shared Melany Mesa, 42, a member of the Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran SLP Association.

 

Liza, on the other hand, says that they ensure that their prices for the feeds supplies are cheaper than their competitors. This way, their customers, mostly are beneficiaries with hograising business, can earn more for their businesses, too.

 

“Sa ganitong paraan, nakakatulong rin kami sa aming kapwa mahihirap habang tinutulungan nila kaming palaguin ang aming negosyo,” said Liza.

 

Further, Jopson added that he advises other beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya program to approach the Pantawid Pamilya office in emergency cases such as the need for food.

 

“May mga pagkakataong walang-wala talaga ang isang pamilya kaya maaari silang lumapit sa aming opisina. Nagbibigay kami ng sulat sa grocery store na ito na maaari munang pahiramin ng pagkain ang miyembro at babayaran sa payout,” explained Jopson.

 

While doing their businesses, all mothers become more positive for the future of their children.

 

“Kami ay dating mga nasa bahay lang o kumikita pero maliit lang para sa aming pamilya. Malaking tulong ang SLP dahil nabigyan kami ng ideya sa pagnenegosyo,” shared Ma. Luningning Alvarez, 30, also a beneficiary.

 

With these, most of their members have started their own sari-sari store or hog raising businesses at home. They help increase the income of the stores as they become owners and customers of the store at the same time.

 

Today, their businesses have become a source of inspiration for all of them and for these, all of them commit towards ensuring their businesses’ sustainability.

 

Every day, customers find different faces of women manning the stores. Every member has a schedule of volunteer work doing all chores in managing the operation of the grocery and feeds supply store.

 

In every hour they spend managing their businesses, these women see the achievement of dreams of 46 families and, more importantly, their respective communities.xxx

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