DSWD is known for its cash assistance to the public. Its successful stories are found in news while smiles from people who received these grants fill the social media space. Angels in Red Vests are also spotted at payouts or at the distribution areas where DSWD food items are given to victims of disasters. Unknown to many, however, is that DSWD also capacitates beneficiaries on how to improve their status in life.

Apart from equipping beneficiaries with the necessary skills, to either run the business or apply for a job, the DSWD, through its Sustainable Livelihood Program(SLP) and Zero Hunger looks for different opportunities in linking their beneficiaries to the market. A recent example of this goal in action was seen last Sunday, March 26, 2023 in the SM Sunday Market which was held at the Jeepney Terminal, SM Uptown.

The Sunday Market participants setting up their products early morning on March 26, 2023

“Isa sa ilang problema kay kungasa nila dal-on ilang products, ingon man kung asa nila dad-on ang ilang mga tinanom aron makabawi sa ilang mga gasto sa farm.” Ms. Marivic Jongoy, a Project Development Officer (PDO) assigned in Talakag, Bukidnon tells the tale of the humble beginnings of a Community-Based Organization(CBO) and how the partnership of SLP changed their fate. 

A day before, Randy John Uy, president of the Balogto “Hope” AgroForestry Association Incorporated, and his team already prepared their products in the afternoon. Then, they went down in the evening to the City of Golden Friendship from the mountains of Talakag, Bukidnon. Through this, they were able to prepare their products early in the morning of Sunday.

Mr. Uy’s men placing the products up for display

The Balogto “Hope” AgroForestry Association Incorporated is a CBO and a new member of the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) last October 2022 under the recommendation of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) of Musuan on which the association is also a beneficiary of. They were given the by the PCC working animals to enhance the livelihood of the farmers. This is done by improving their supply of their produce and carabao’s milk. When the association made its way to EPAHP, its members were screened, and thry created themselves as a SLP association under the name of Uswag Igsoon SLPA. 

Furthermore, Balogto “Hope” AgroForestry Association, through the efforts of EPAHP was linked as a supplier to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC). Thus at the time of the Sunday Market, Mr. Uy shared that they were also having their goods delivered at NMMC.

Randy John Uy packs his product for a buying customer

“Unta magpadayon pa ni ug muloag pa ni nga market kay aron mas matabangan pa nato ug konek ang produkto sa atong mga farmers o mag–uuma nato [sa katawhan].” Mr. Uy is hopeful that for the next Sundays to come, his association will continue to market their products, gain feedback, and build connections to numerous partners.

The next SM Sunday Market will be open next week on April 2, 2023 on Palm Sunday from 7 AM to 5 PM. DSWD FO X took this opportunity to showcase more SLP products next week with more SLP recipients joining the said activity.