For Filipinos, it is always heartwarming to know that the government, through its anti-poverty alleviation programs, is sowing needs of hope among poor people to continue working, not giving up, in order to have a better tomorrow.

PantawidPamilya is a human development and rights-based program that aims to alleviate poverty through investment in health, education and nutrition to poor children ages 0-14 years old. It helps to ease the effects of poverty at the same time invest in the future of poor children.

In order to sustain the investments of the program to its beneficiaries, the Department of Social Welfare and Development instituted a transition strategy where the Department’s core social protection programs are converged to achieve a higher impact.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program of the national government implemented by the social welfare department is a capability program that provides non-collateral and interest-free loan to enhance the socio-economic skills of poor families.

As part of the transition strategy, beneficiaries who have been assessed to be eligible to receive livelihood or employment intervention are provided with livelihood to help them become self-sufficient when they graduate from the PantawidPamilya after five years.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program is the formation of a saving and credit facility provided to beneficiaries with access to socialized credit to enable them to finance income-generating projects.

The program provides interest free loans payable in one year and part of the program’s design is for the beneficiaries to organize themselves in a livelihood association that shall be provided with technical assistance by DSWD to self-administer its own savings and credit program.

Bolinsong SKG is a group association formed in Barangay Bolinsong, Municipality of Bonifacio, province of Misamis Occidental which belongs in Region X – a total of 324 households including non-Pantawid beneficiaries.

Lorna Bacus, is 36 years old, married with three children aged 14, 12 and 8. Lorna is the President in their association.

For eight years, she is a day care worker and now a preschool teacher in their barangay.  Her husband is a porklechon-maker. As an additional capital for their lechon making business, their family were granted a loan of P10,000.00.

Oftentimes, they make lechon two times a week with a net monthly income of P6,800.00.  Lorna has a P2,800.00 as her own savings.Their group composed of ten members were organized last April 25, 2011 and loan was released August 15, 2011 amounting to P150,000.00. As of this day, they have already fully paid the loan.

One of the difficulties that Lorna experienced in their business is some of the customers making delays in their payments especially the regular customers. Fortunately, she overcome the situation because she had a monthly salary of P3,000.00 as a preschool teacher.

Lorna’s household learned a lot about entrepreneurship through Sustainable Livelihood through the financial literacy training it provides to its members for them to gain knowledge and skills in managing micro-enterprise.

Regular attendance to family development sessions (FDS) also taught Lorna about budgeting, gardening, and preparing nutritious food for the family. Lorna shared that she learned how to budget money for their daily expenses and set aside for their savings.

“There is really a big difference with our situation before and at present. I give big thanks to the government for helping us lessen our sufferings from poverty”, Lorna said.

The seeds of hope that the government is sowing through the 4Ps and Sustainable Livelihood programs and other development programs, are shining rays of the sun making families ever focused on working hard to make brighter tomorrows.

Written by Mary Emaly G. Llagas, Project Development Officer II, and Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer, DSWD

Written by Mary Emaly G. Llagas, Project Development Officer II