SLP as Part of a Recipe for a Better Tomorrow

Perlita Cahatol and her family of seven were coping with the demands of living in Cagayan de Oro City until they were challenged with bigger trials starting with her husband’s accident. This incident forced the family to migrate to Kibawe, Bukidnon in hopes to have a better quality of life. The house they built were made of upcycled materials which is not protective against weatherly elements as they now depend on their income as farmers.

Life is hard enough as it is but Perlita finds herself pregnant with their sixth child. The birth of the baby was also the day her husband got into another accident that left him permanently disabled from walking again. It was dark times for the family in coping with her husband’s accident that Perlita thought of giving up the baby for adoption. With her husband’s consent, the baby was turned over to a family who can best provide the developmental needs of the child. A hard decision to make but it was for the best interest for the child that Perlita wants for her baby. She sets her focus on caring for his now-PWD husband and growing children who are also in need of her. Through fervent prayers for mercy that Perlita finds comfort to allay her worries and guilt. Little did she know that things are about to turn around for her.

With her gained skills from Cookery NCII training she received through SLP, Perlita set up an eatery business that proved profitable even during the health pandemic.

As a 4Ps beneficiary, Perlita joined the Cookery NCII Skills Training by DSWD through the Sustainable Livelihood Program. The gained skills opened new opportunities for her as she opened her own eatery after completing the course. Six years on, the business has grown and the family is living comfortably as she hoped. All children are doing good at school as scholars. They have been in close communication with their youngest who is living with his adoptive family, who will be migrating with them to another country soon. From dried fish and shrimp paste as staple meals to affording healthy meals; light materials to concrete and tiled home; from living on a day-to-day basis to having savings, things are indeed looking up for Perlita.

The Cahatol family are now living a more comfortable life as the family greatly benefitted from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD.

For Perlita, SLP paved the way to a brighter future and cannot be more grateful for how her life turned out despite the many trials she had to overcome.

Photos and story contributed by Norwel C. Placer, Project Development Officer II

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For the Community, By the Community

In August 2004, KAWOSA (then KASAPI) was organized by a select group of women who saw the financial need for fiesta celebrations and other festivities. To address this need, the group decided to contribute Php300.00 as start-up capital for a micro-lending activity. They charged an interest of 10% per month. To keep track of their micro-lending project, they agreed to meet every last Sunday of the month at the school’s waiting shed. The proceeds (dividends) from the micro-lending activity are distributed every December, during their Christmas party.

In May 2005, KASAPI decided to re-organize the association and change its name to Kasapi Women’s and Savings Association (KAWOSA). Through the Barangay Council, some KAWOSA officers and members were selected to attend the Pre Membership Seminar (PMES) facilitated by Balay Mindanao Foundation, Incorporated (BMFI). KAWOSA benefited from the capability building activities facilitated by Balay Mindanao. Seminars that were conducted include bookkeeping, auditing, laws that protect the rights of women and children, agrarian land reforms, and other laws relevant to the needs of the association.  

In June 2005, KAWOSA opened a sari-sari store and a canteen inside an elementary school campus with a capital of Php2,700.00 from the contribution of the twenty-seven (27) members at Php100.00 each. A month after, KAWOSA registered itself in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Humble beginnings. the store was initially made f wood. Through perseverance in saving money from their earnings, the store was eventually concretized.

KAWOSA was formalized into an association with a legal personality, having a complete set of officers, written constitution and by-laws, and development plans. The partnership with Balay Mindanaw continued and in September 2005, KAWOSA received livelihood assistance amounting to Php10,000.00 for pig dispersal livelihood project for ten (10) members.

Later, the sari-sari store and the canteen inside the school campus had to be transferred as advised by the new school in-charge. KAWOSA decided to purchase a 100 square meter lot from Mr. & Mrs. Aurelio Camus in the amount of Php 5,000.00, just enough to build a small building strategically located across the school campus. The association continued its hard work in sustaining its economic activities and in 2012 they applied for accreditation with the City Government of Gingoog that paved the way to receiving a Php 340,000.00 livelihood project for corn and swine production from Community Fund And Development (CFAD) through the City Agriculture Office. The CFAD project has continued to date (swine and cattle raising), except for the corn production which was replaced by Falcata.

As an accredited association by the City Government of Gingoog, KAWOSA was invited to participate in the BUB project orientation and workshop. KAWOSA proposed for a consumer store and the project was approved amounting to Php240,000.00, which was funded and implemented through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on December 2014.

he association envisions to the city’s source of pride and aspiration for al other livelihood associations, as much they are continuously learning and growing to better within their local community.

The seed capital fund from DSWD was a substantial amount that KAWOSA decided, through a general assembly, to select few members whom they trust and has the skills, capacity, and commitment as the “management team”. The management team is entrusted with the planning, budgeting, and implementation of the project. One of the major decisions that the management team came up was to construct a two story building. The first floor will house the consumer store and kitchen and the upper floor will serve as the meeting hall of the members.

Currently, the association has a consumer store and micro-lending service. They ventured into ginger farming but it did not prosper, so the members replaced it with a vegetable garden in hopes to generate added income and provide members with fresh vegetables. Capital for food and snacks vending is also   offered to interested members who want to have additional income, utilizing the associations’ kitchen and space (suitable display area) as the store is located in front of the school. With their diverse source of income, KAWOSA fully paid the livelihood grant to DSWD in February 2017.

Regular meetings ensure cooperation, transparency, and unity of members.

The store has undergone renovation which gave it gave added value. The association practiced Christmas as a gift giving month not only to distribute profit shares from the store and micro-lending operations to its members but also to the community who patronized the store. Bags of groceries are given to senior    citizens, barangay tanods, and neighbors of the store who helped oversee the KAWOSA building during the night. Aside from their profit shares, the members are also given cash gifts. But perhaps the best benefit given by KAWOSA to its members is paying for the SSS monthly contribution of each member.

KAWOSA employs five members as treasurer/cashier, inventory clerk, saleslady, collector and manager. Besides being able to generate employment among members, it encourages membership especially the Pantawid beneficiaries.

The association admits that it is a continuing challenge to encourage members to share the vision of KAWOSA, that of attaining the kind of development that each member dream of. For them, there is no substitute for hard work, continuous education and valuing the opportunity given by the government.

The members can only look forward on what the association Photo taken November 2019.

In the near future, KAWOSA hopes to establish a mortuary fund for all members, cash gifts for birthday celebrants, KAWOSA Bigasan, and KAWOSA Mini Pharmacy. They also plan to buy another piece of land to expand their business.

*Originally published at the SLP Lambigit 2020 compendium. Copies available at the Social Marketing Unit.

Story and photos contributed by Maria Estela T. Berdelao, Project Development Officer II

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DSWD Field Office X recognizes active partners and exemplars

In celebration to its 70th Founding Anniversary, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office X recently gave honor and distinction to individuals, groups, and organizations whose commitment was to share their time, selves, and resources to ensure that the various sectors benefit from the enhanced service delivery and better opportunities.

From left to right: Undersecretary Camilo Gudmalin, Assistant Secretary Rhea Peñaflor, Regional Director Mari-Flor A. Dollaga, and Undersecretary Felicisimo Budiongan, DSWD FO X is grateful of the ending support extended by the Central Office in its service delivery in Northern Mindanao.

The “Salamat Po” Awards, which is a commendation given by the DSWD Field Office X to its development partners and volunteers who provided assistance in the Department’s delivery of social protection services and achievement of goals, was proudly presented to Mr. Ramon C. Ortega of Land Bank of the Philippines, Dr. Lorraine M. Nery of the City Health Office of Cagayan de Oro, Mr. Teodoro A. Sabuga-a, City Administrator of Cagayan de Oro, Mr. Vicente Gregorio Tomas of the DSWD Field Office NCR, the Local Government Unit of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, Atty. Celso L. Vocal, Regional Director of the Commission of Audit, Director Franklin P. Gumapon, Regional Director of Philippine Information Agency – X, Dr. David Mendoza, Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Health – X, Dr. Adriano P. Suba-an, Regional Director of the Department of Health – X, and Director Arnel M. Agabe, Regional Director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Region X, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Director Rosauro Arnel Q. Gonzales of the Office of the Civil Defense, and Director Manuel Orduna of the National Intelligence Agency – X.

Undersecretary for Standards and Capacity Building Camilo Gudmalin reminds the DSWD FO X workers to serve our clients with passion and compassion.

The first presentation of awards was graced by DSWD Undersecretary Camilo Gudmalin held last February 22, 2021 at DSWD Field Office X, and the second presentation of awards for uniformed government personnel was graced by DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista held last February 24, 2021 at 4th Infantry Division, Cagayan de Oro City.

MGen Andres C Centino PA assures DSWD of their continued support in its program and service delivery in the years to come.

The engagement of the different agencies with the DSWD has been strengthened with a Memorandum of Agreement early on in 2020 addressing the security of DSWD personnel in the conduct of its activities especially on the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program; and provision of safe housing of food and non-food relief goods that expedited and efficient delivery to all municipalities and cities of Region 10. In his message, Secretary Bautista heartfully thanked the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for supporting the DSWD Field Office X in the implementation of its programs and services in Northern Mindanao.

During the said occasion, Secretary Bautista announced the Presidential appointment as Director IV for Director Mari-Flor A. Dollaga and conducted the oath-taking during the course of the programme.

DSWD Secretary Bautista formally inducted Regional Director Mari-Flor A. Dollaga during the “Salamat Po” Awards.

Director Mari-Flor also sent her expression of gratitude to all its partners whose support have greatly contributed to the success and accomplishments of DSWD Field Office X in 2020.

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Transparency Boards for SLP Association accountability

It is very important to be transparent especially on the financial report aspects in order to sustain an organization. The Project Development Officers of the Sustainable Livelihood Program are responsible within their areas of responsibility to ensure that the association’s livelihood projects are sustained and are functional by introducing social technologies that enable them achieve it. To reach this goal, trust and confidence among its members in the association is an important foundation. With this in mind, SLP association officers of Pantao Ragat create transparency boards in their respective livelihood project sites to showcase the cash flow, projects (proposed/approved), achievements, and other important documentation.

All verifiable information is accessible to all members.

This lessens having to answer many queries, address complaints, and conflicts among members. Any doubts by a member will simply have to verify information posted on the transparency board.

Transparency and accountability should be the culture in every organization especially in all SLPAs. The most important person to lead the organization in setting this culture are our transformational leaders with the guidance of DSWD workers in guiding them towards a sustainable project and self-managing association.

SLPA Officers are tasked to provide updates in posting financial statements and other pertinent documents.

Story and photos contributed by Joanne M. Siete, Project Development Officer II

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SLP: promoting Swak na Local Products, a webinar

Online selling has been long practiced by businesses in the advent of the internet. Different platforms are available in maximizing reach to potential buyers. With more people having access to social media, it has been the most flexible marketplace for online sellers. Despite its great potential, only few people understand how the social network can work in advantage for micro-entrepreneurs.

The webinar is to capacitate our program participants on better engagement and selling of their products through their own business pages.

It is initiated under the Sustainable Livelihood Program on the conduct of a webinar about online selling through social media entitled “SLP: promoting Swak na Local Products” through Google Meet link. The activity is in line with the week-long Likhang Hiraya celebration of DSWD Field Office 10. Target participants are program participants and field workers in improving product-selling and reaching more potential buyers. Resource person is Ms. Piper Ramboanga, online marketing consultant and founder of a consultancy group that provides technical advises to SMEs.

The activity serves as culminating activity of Likhang Hiraya, the photo exhibit and product display of SLP. Photos are exhibited at Lim Ket Kai Mall and Ayala Centrio Mall. Products are sold online through the Facebook page DSWD Region X to avoid crowding in public places.

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Cooking-demo using SLP products conducted in celebration of Likhang Hiraya

The Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD Field Office 10 has supported micro-enterprises that include food production and has been featured by the Local Government Units at their respective Negosyo Centers under the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI). In promoting such outputs, the agency initiated a cooking-demonstration using SLP products through Facebook livestream.

Culinary Chef Hannah Lei Tiro shares her creativity and cooking skills in using SLP products on her new recipe “Chicken Binagoongan with Kiping Flakes”. The cooking-demo is part of Likhang Hiraya celebration.

Culinary Chef Hannah Lei Tiro, from Culinary Institute of Cagayan, crafted a recipe “Chicken Binagoongan with Kiping Flakes” using Spicy Alamang by TAMA CFB 4Ps SLPA, and Cassava Crisps “kiping” by Raquel Montalba, a Pantawid grantee from Camiguin. The output is a spicy, savory dish that is easy to cook. The recipe and procedure is available at the Facebook page.

Chicken is a staple dish among Filipino households. Infusing it with SLP products inspires viewers to be creative and enjoy a unique savory dish that is easy to make.

Photo exhibits can be found at Ayala Centrio Mall and Lim Ket Kai Mall.

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DSWD FO-10 conducts Christmas Decor-making using SLP products

People are having their houses decorated and trees lighted up as the Christmas Season is bringing cheer to Filipino households. Since budget is tighter to buy new ornaments, DIY ones can be made right at the comfort of their homes. A Christmas decor-making session with Ms. May Rose Estrada of Glee Nasbah crafts was initiated by the Sustainable Livelihood Program in using products made the program participants and recyclable materials in transforming them to whimsical decorations. Aside from promoting local products, it also encourages viewers to be more eco-conscious by recycling household items into something decorative or useful. The activity was conducted through Facebook livestream.

Ms. May Rose Estrada shares her craft-making skills in making Christmas decorations in using SLP products and recycled materials.

Likhang Hiraya: Pangarap Patungong PagSibol is an SLP product display and photo exhibit. Banking in the power of images as a communication tool, this activity aims to further educate and engage the general public’s interest in SLP by showcasing the different products from the different SLP associations and individual participants, as well as exhibiting powerful images of the program’s works through the different SLP projects. This display and exhibit shall capture positive, creative, and inspiring images of SLP projects, products, and participants.

Bikog plates transformed into centerpieces or wall decor but simply adding ornaments. The bikog plates are from Lanao del Norte.

Photo exhibit can be viewed at Lim Ket Kai Mall and Ayala Centrio Mall until December 4, 2020. Products are available for orders online, pick up at the regional office or delivery by local courier.

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DSWD Field Office 10 launches Likhang Hiraya

Likhang Hiraya: Pangarap Patungong PagSibol is a product display and photo exhibit by the Sustainable Livelihood Program, showcasing the best of what our program participants have gained through the different modalities. This is a nationwide event with localized initiatives in the implementation.

Likhang Hiraya: Pangarap Patungong PagSibol

For the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 10, Likhang Hiraya is celebrated this December 1-4, 2020 through a photo exhibit in 2 mall and online selling of products. Photos on the program implementation and participants from the micro-enterprise and employment facilitation tracks are displayed at Lim Ket Kai Mall and Ayala Centrio Mall. A virtual opening program was done through Facebook livestream with Mr. Rhandy Ladoroz, SLP Regional Program Coordinator , giving insights on the significance of Likhang Hiraya, while Mr. Kaysher Dantalmura, SLP Monitoring & Evaluation Officer, sharing a briefer on what SLP is all about. This year’s product exhibit participants were presented coming from different municipalities of Region 10. Orders have to be made online which is then picked up from the office or have it delivered straight to their homes through a local courier.

SLP expressed through the stories of our program participants on the gains and success brought to their lives.

Virtual mini shows are slated for each day in keeping the interest and awareness of the public. Decoration-making and cooking demonstrations using SLP products are slated each day with invited resource persons. A webinar on online selling by an expert online marketing specialist will serve as culminating activity. Target participants are selected SLP participants and associations with established products and SLP field workers.

Mr. Rhandy Ladoroz, SLP Regional Program Coordinator, sharing the significance on the conduct of Likhang Hiraya. Products made by SLP participants are the main highlight of the event in supporting local enterprises.

This is a first of its kind in conducting a product exhibit, adapting to the health pandemic. Economic activities are being flexible in stemming transmission by going online and offering delivery of their products. This applies as well for SLP in supporting the local products as we love to say “Buy locally, support a Filipino family.” Available products are posted at the Facebook page of DSWD Region X.

Spicy Alamang 200g by TAMA CFB 4Ps SLPA from Naawan, Misamis Oriental for Php 100.00 only. This is just one of the many products available for sale.

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October 2021