Tag Archive | "sustainable livelihood program"

Kiping on Fire


Poverty is sometimes an inter-generational problem wherein children inherit the condition by birth. This can only be stopped when poor families are combined with positive household attributes such as determination of parents, and external factors such as opportunities made accessible to them.

More than just fate of being born to a poor family, Raquel L. Montalba set out to have a better life for her and her family. Married to Rico Montalba who drives a motorcycle, Raquel sold fried cassava flakes or more known as “kiping” to the locals as a common street food especially in known tourist spots in the island of Camiguin.

The Valmoria Family.

In 2009, opportunity came in the form of Sustainable Livelihood Program were she joined an association to avail an individual loan. Together with the money she saved part of what she earned from selling kiping, Raquel opened a souvenir shop near Katibawasan Falls. The steady flow of visitors to the known tourist spot ensured income for her family especially for her two children who are monitored students under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. They were able to renovate their house from light materials to concrete walling. Life is looking good for the family.

If you would think she would be taking it all easy already, Raquel is still full of ideas in pushing her business to higher heights. She established a Facebook page, Kiping Camiguin, where she posts about her products.

She is currently enrolled at the Department of Trade and Industry “Kapatid Mentor Me” Training Program with modular classes every Friday until end of May. Taking this opportunity to learn from successful entrepreneurs, Raquel believes that she would achieve the same with her kiping. She enthusiastically learns from the training and used her ingenious skills in improving and innovating her kiping. Her first innovation is ready-to-cook kiping flakes that people can bring as souvenir or can be sent to friends in faraway places. She takes pride of this new process as this would mean more people get to experience a piece of the culture that is proudly local.

Ready-to-cook kiping with glaze. Available for delivery or through shipment. Photo by DSWD FO-X.

Things begin to slow down with onset of the COVID-19 health pandemic before officially launching her new innovation. The province was then placed in lockdown in preventing spread of the highly contagious disease. This meant temporary closure of her souvenir shop but a different business opportunity came at hand. For a while, Raquel used her dressmaking skills in making reusable cloth face masks for sale.

Raquel making reusable face masks which she sold for 35.00 pesos. Photo from Raquel’s FB account.

The lockdown has not dampened Raquel’s entrepreneurial spirit. She introduced new innovations such as kiping in different shapes, kiping ice cream cones, and kiping flakes with different flavors. She delivers directly to within island buyers or by shipment to those ordering outside the province. Orders regularly come in despite the on-going community quarantine which is making her busy still. Raquel takes pride on how far she has achieved for her kiping.

Competition does not faze her drive as she relies strongly on her ingenuity and product quality. Raquel’s fiery determination is like Camiguin’s origin, born of fire. She will truly trail-blaze as she keeps moving forward along with her kiping dreams.

Raquel at her souvenir shop and kiping display. She misses being at her store due to the lockdown but is hopeful that she will be back soon.

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How coffee, corn help won peace in Bukidnon


Bukidnon has a long history of internal armed conflict. From tribal wars to insurgents, this lush land of forests and agriculture is scarred with violence. Consequently, one factor contributing to such armed violence is poverty. Government services are not accessible due to factors like road conditions and distance, available resources, such as financial and physical assets, and most importantly, education.

Manobo-Pulangihon people as beneficiaries of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) project with DSWD staff and partner stakeholders.

Depriving poor communities from access to their basic rights make the Indigenous People vulnerable to joining militants. Yet not everything stays the same forever. One barangay in the Municipality of Quezon, Province of Bukidnon is about to experience change and, soon, peace.

Sitio Gamut of Barangay Sta. Filomena is considered the farthest community in Quezon. 24 kilometers from downtown with approximately 400 households, the area is mostly inhabited by the Manobo-Pulangihon tribe people. They are traditional farmers who lack new technology for post-farming activities such as shellers and haulers to augment the market value of their produce like corn and coffee.

Achieving peace through capacity-building of vulnerable communities with income-productive citizenry.

They lack the capital to buy the necessary machinery. Saving money is a luxury they cannot afford to do as they need every cent earned for their daily needs.

With the introduction of a Sustainable Livelihood Program’s Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (SLP Pamana) project to their community, the locals have reckoned the idea that things are about to change for them. The group of farmers with 30 members has been organized into an SLP Association which adapted the name Barangay Farmers Tribe Group Pamana SLPA.

To aid the association in their farming activities and increase their production rate, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process have provided the association with corn sheller and coffee dehauler.

People working together as a community: coffee dehuller being transported to the association’s center of business operation.

The said project is one of the government’s programs to strengthen peace-building, reconstruction, and development in conflict-affected and vulnerable areas. Notably, it is not only the association who will benefit from the said project but the whole community as well.  

Looking forward to the improvement of their income through the provision of the much-needed service, the members of Barangay Farmers Tribe Group Pamana SLPA likewise hope to achieve peace through productivity and socio-economic growth as they soon harvest their valuable grains of corn and coffee.

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Renewed Hope to Dream


One gets easily discouraged when life offers you limited choices. The future does not seem any better for Rolly P. Oracion as he only completed elementary education finding it difficult to find a stable job for himself. His family makes ends meet by loaning in micro-finance institutions and neighbors which gets paid from the corn harvests. During harder times, they are forced to sell their livestock just so that they can buy food to put on their table. 


An opportunity came knocking on their doorsteps literally on June 2017. It was the last call for enrollees to the Backhoe HEO NCII Skills Training at Brgy. Minsuro, Manolo Fortich, a Sustainable Livelihood Program Employment Facilitation through Skills Training track project. A worker from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) visited Rolly and his wife Gina at their house and offered them a slot to the aforementioned training. Rolly was hesitant at first because he felt too old to be hired and he has not finished his formal schooling. His wife prodded him to grab this opportunity. He shared that there were times he felt quitting from the training but his wife motivated him to finish it. And finished he did with NCII certification.

Mr. Rolly P. Oracion during the Commencement Exercises held last June 24, 2017 at Manolo Fortich Gymnasium, Municipality of Manolo Fortcih, Bukidnon.
(Photo credits to Mr. Earl Ryan Janubas)

With complete requirements, including a valid driver’s license, he was easily hired by private companies and contractors. His job experiences harnessed his skill in operating a backhoe equipment. After finishing project-based jobs, he finally landed in GAMMA Food Inc. on May 2019 as mainstay operator for regularization within the year. There he earned a daily salary of Php457, complete with health and social pension benefits. 

Mr. Rolly P. Oracion showing off his skills in operating a backhoe equipment at his work area.


Rolly is more than optimistic than ever in facing the challenges ahead of him. He is grateful that they were able to pay off their debts that they can finally start saving for their house renovation and buy a motorcycle which he needs to use to and from his work station. There are times he ends up getting soaked in the rain when going home. For now, he is simply beyond grateful to be employed so as not to worry when they would get money to buy for their meals and daily needs as he has a regular salary every 15 days. 

The Oracion Family. Rolly, standing left most, with his children and wife Gina, standing 3rd from left.


The rest of the family are also doing good on their own. Gina is a Pantawid Parent Leader and President of an SLPA in Brgy. Sto. Niño, which was funded recently this November 4, 2019. The group project is cassava production. His eldest son is also a Backhoe NCII holder and is working at Dahilayan Forest Park as Park Attendant. His eldest daughter is enrolled at National Bukidnon Community College taking up B.S. Business Administration, while their youngest child is an enrolled Grade 10 student at Manolo Fortich National High School. They ascertain that the grants they receive from the Pantawid Program as they comply with the conditions. 
The future is better now for Rolly and he can only say these words “Daghan salamat sa DSWD kay natagaan mi ani nga opportunidad.” (Thank you, DSWD, for giving us this kind of opportunity.)


Walay sapayan, Rolly.

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Pantawid grantees on skills training, employment: Gov’t loves us


Cagayan de Oro City — They have nothing to say, but, to say their thanks.

On the day of their departure to Manila from here, the eleven Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who finished a housekeeping course paid a courtesy call to DSWD Northern Mindanao to express their thanks and promise to do their best in living out from poverty.

Mitzi Pactanan, mother of seven children, told Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, Regional Director of DSWD Northern Mindanao, that she has been preparing her husband, her children and herself emotionally because she is leaving for work in Saudi Arabia.

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Pactanan finished the skills training at Skills Mastery Institute under the Sustainable Livelihood Program last May 2015.

She feels blessed with the TESDA-accredited training at SMI because “I was given a big opportunity by the government to undergo skills training for free and they facilitated to help me find employment.”

Pactanan, a resident of Mauswagon, Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, urged her fellow graduates to make use of their skills to improve their well-being.

“Dili tanan nga gusto mo-eskwela maka-eskwela mao nga thankful kaayo ko sa DSWD, sa TESDA, ug sa SMI nga gihatagan ‘mi og opportunity nga makatabang sa among pamilya. Makapa-eskwela na jud ko sa akong manghod.” (Not all who desires to study can study. That is why I am thankful to DSWD, TESDA, and SMI for giving us the opportunity to help our families. Now, I can send my younger brothers and sisters to school).

Pactanan said she has been dreaming for a better life and the national government fulfilled her dreams. “Nangandoy jud ko sa una pa nga mo-angat among panginabuhian. Salamat kaayo sa national government. Hinaot daghan pa ang inyong matabangan. We feel nga love kaayo mi ninyo,” said Pactanan. (Before, I dreamed of a better life. Thank you very much for the national government. I hope you can help more people like us. We feel you love us more.)

Work in Saudi Arabia

Pactanan is among the first batch of SMI graduates who will work as housekeeping personnel in Saudi Arabia.

IMG_20150618_091622

Four of her batchmates: Sheryl Gequilan of Parola, Macabalan this city; Glory May Llemit and Emeelyn Roco of Bal-ason, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental; and Rizalina Alora of Sangalan, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental; are set to depart for Saudi Arabia on June 22, 2015.

The other seven, including Pactanan, will momentarily stay in Manila for passport processing and pre-employment seminar.

Dr. Irene Floro, president of SMI, told Atty. Solamillo and TESDA 10 Regional Director Edgar Sales that SMI will shoulder for the food and accommodation of the 11 DSWD beneficiaries in Manila for free.

The SLP recently conducted series of graduation exercises with the support of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and their accredited schools, highlighting the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries’ completion of various Technical Vocational (TechVoc) Skills Training programs in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental.

Monitor workers

Atty. Solamillo, during the courtesy call, reminded the future overseas workers that DSWD will continue to monitor the well-being and status of their respective families.

The regional director emphasized that municipal links have been ordered to provide psycho-social interventions to the families they will leave behind.

IMG_20150618_102504

The future overseas workers, Solamillo added, must also accept the fact that they will feel lonely being far from their respective families.

One way of overcoming it, she said, is to pray.

Engr. Sales, for his part, told the beneficiaries to adhere to the values taught by DSWD, TESDA and SMI in their workplace.

Sales is optimistic that the beneficiaries are equipped with skills that are more than what is being demanded by their employers.

The SLP facilitates opportunities for the development and management of resource-based, culturally sensitive, market driven and economically viable micro-enterprises; employment facilitation; community empowerment through skills enhancement trainings; link program participants to micro-insurance providers and promote comprehensive family-based approach and community participation.

Meanwhile the Pantawid Pamilya program is the national government’s social development program that provides conditional cash grants to poor families with children aged 18 years old and below. A household could receive a maximum of P1,400 a month for their health, nutrition and education provided that they comply with conditions of the Program. These conditions include availing of regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines, maintaining at least 85% school attendance, and regularly attending family development sessions.

To date, Northern Mindanao has 259,797 active beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya. Of this, 108,998 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries enjoy the benefits of the SLP. ###

 

Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD Northern Mindanao

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