Tag Archive | "sustainable livelihood program"

Fortune Favors the Brave, story of a 4Ps member working as a Domestic Worker


Heroes. Modern heroes. A title given to Overseas Filipino Workers as they sacrifice in leaving their families in dreams of having a better life and a brighter future for their children. Not enough employment opportunities for poor household members who have not finished formal schooling is a common background for those who seek employment abroad. As they leave to foreign lands of foreign languages that they have yet to learn, the appeal to become Domestic Workers has been glamorized by movies despite the homesickness, heartaches, and fears faced by these individuals who brave through tears to put smiles on their families back home.

Maribel’s employers are grateful for her cooking skills and respectful attitude. Photo from Maribel’s Facebook account with consent.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 10 foster partnership with work placement agencies through the Sustainable Livelihood Program who can facilitate employment for non-skilled Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. One of the many private partners is Placewell International Services Corporation. Through a series of Special Recruitment Activities in the different cities and municipalities of Region 10, many Pantawid household members applied for available jobs. A Pantawid household member in the municipality of Baroy, Lanao del Norte took a leap of faith in applying for work abroad. A mother of three children, Maribel Baquiller sets her sights in providing a better life for her family even if it means leaving them. She used to sell Filipino snack food items such as suman, bibingka, palitaw, and the likes for their daily needs which is proving to be challenging as the expenses are getting bigger as their children are growing. Maribel admits it is not enough even with her husband’s income from driving a motorcycle. “Sakit kayo malayo sa akong mga anak pero akong kayanon ang mga kamingaw ug kaguol para sa ilang kaugmaon (It is hard to be away from my children but I will bear the loneliness and worries for the sake of my children).”, says Maribel.

Maribel keeps in touch with her family back in their hometown through video calls. Photo from Maribel’s Facebook account with consent.

After processing her required papers and passing the interview, Maribel was sent to Saudi Arabia in 2016. Her first few days was filled with mixed emotions of homesickness, excitement of being in another country, and fear of the possibilities of being abused by her employers and co-workers. All of her fears and worries were allayed over time. Her respectful attitude and cooking skills helped earning her employer’s respect and generosity. She was showered with many gifts such as a laptop, cellphone, clothing, and household utensils that she was able to send back home aside from her monthly salary which is increasing every renewal of her contract.

The three children are doing good in school and are active in the school’s activities. Despite the pandemic, the children are enrolled on modular classes. Photo from Maribel’s Facebook account with consent.

Over time, her family’s well-being at home begin to improve. They can now afford for the schooling expenses of her children, have good food on their table, and the opportunity in building their dream home. Maribel is still serving her same employer and is looking towards a better future for her children in sight.

By saving money from her salary, Maribel and her husband are striving to have their dream house finished soon. Photo from Maribel’s Facebook account with consent.

Maribel shares her learned wisdom in working abroad. “The message that I can share to everyone is that they can have the things they desire if they will just keep in mind that personal anguish, fear, and loneliness will be worth it the moment you see a smile and joy on your children’s faces. I thank God for this opportunity because I can say to myself that I can stand whatever trials I may face because I have now these skills that I can depend on.”

Story contributed by Franze Jemima Kesia Alcoran-Mapandi

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New normal brings new challenges for an SLP participant who is also a Parent Leader


Mercy P. Solatorio is a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino or 4Ps grantee with four children residing in Lala, Lanao del Norte. She is the over-all parent leader in their barangay. She was able to avail a individual loan of Php 5,000.00 under the SEA-K program, former name of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), which she used to purchase 3 piglets and feeds to start her hog fattening project. From her profit in every cycle she used for the school and household expenses including paying debts.

Mercy was also trained on Dressmaking which was funded through a BUB-SLP project in year 2017. The training enhanced her rusty dressmaking skill. Her fellow 4Ps members and neighbors would have their clothes done by her which added to her daily income in paying off her loans.

Mercy used her dressmaking skills in repairing clothes and making uniforms for her neighbors and fellow 4Ps members

One of her children was trained in rag-making and used her acquired skills in making household rags using the excess or unused pieces of cloths from her mother’s work and sell them at a very affordable price.

In 2018, the barangay council issued a resolution in banning hog fattening within 50 meters from the residence. Mercy then changed her project to sari-sari store and food vending that made her earn Php 1,000.00 – 2,000.00 sales daily. With this, she was able to give enough school allowances to her children.

Mercy admitted that a portion of the income is sometimes used for sudden or unexpected expenses. It is through availing small loans from local micro-financing institutions that she sustain her sari-sari store. She is very thankful that even though life hits her hard, she was able to stand up again. As what she said, “Kinahanglan think positive jud sa kinabuhi dili magyaya para naay makaon ang pamilya. Kinahanglan moabag jud sa panginabuhian sa bana para mapa eskwela ang mga anak ug makakaon ang pamilya. Sa pagpaningkamot bahala ug nakautang utang nakapahuman sa anak ug sa bulig sa Ginoo nakapasar ang anak sa Social Work Examination adtong 2018 ug karun nagtudlo na sa Collegio de Kapatagan. (We have to think positive in life so that we can feed our family. We need to be able to contribute to our husband’s income so that we can send our children to school and have food for the family. Through hardwork, despite the many loans, my child was able to finish [college]. And with God’s help, my child passed the Social Work Examination last 2018 and is now teaching at Collegio de Kapatagan).” Her daughter shares part of her salary for the family’s daily needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected the sales of her store. It is still operational but experienced lower sales as many people within her community lost their jobs, including her husband. Jobs come by so rarely that some of the stocks in her store were consumed by her family and high on credit from neighbors who pay only whenever they can. Whatever her husband can earn, they use in re-stocking their store.

As they live in community that is far from the main road, Mercy needs to keep her store open for the benefit of her community. Despite the slow payment of people with credit, what is more important for her is that people have something to eat in this hard times.

Mercy still continued with her cloth repairing business. This time around, the extra pieces of cloths she uses in making re-usable cloth face masks for her family’s use and for sale. Some she gave away to her neighbors who do not have money to buy masks, and donated some to Barangay Health Workers and to her 4Ps cluster members.

Her daughter is still teaching but hopes to practice her profession as a Social Worker in DSWD. Her other children are enrolled in modular classes and help out in selling food in the morning.

Being a Parent Leader in the new normal is challenging for Mercy. Most of her cluster members do not have smart phones to watch the electronic Family Development Session (eFDS) which can be viewed every Friday through a Facebook livestream of DSWD. “Tungod kay dili tanang mga sakop sa 4Ps naay hightech na cellphone o internet para makalantaw sa eFDS, ang amu pamaagi para makalantaw jud tanan sa eFDS amu nalang ibutang sa USB ug pagkahuman ipalantaw tag lima lima sa mga mga sakop arun makaapil jud tanan sa eFDS (Because not all member of 4Ps have cellphone or internet [access] so that they can watch the eFDS, we would download and save it in a USB and let them watch it by 5 persons at a time so that everybody has the chance to attend the eFDS).”

Despite all of these challenges, Mercy keeps a positive outlook in life with firm belief that everything will turn just fine for everyone even amidst the pandemic.

Story and photos contributed by Elsie A. Galon, Project Development Officer II

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Makugihon ug Makaunayon, Journey to New Beginnings of Balatacan Makugihon C4 SLPA


The Balatacan Makugihon C4 SLPA was organized last April 2019 with 25 members from Barangay Balatacan, Tangub City. All of the members are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps. Their proposed project or livelihood is a Mini General Merchandise, focusing more on the Farming Fertilizers, Fishing Tools and Supplies. They were funded by Department of Social Welfare and Development under the Sustainable Livelihood Program with the amount of Php 375,000.00.

 The association faced many challenges even before they get to start with the project due to low participation of members in its meetings and planning. They thought that they will be relieved of their problems once they receive their funds but much to their dismay, it was only the beginning.

Things started to break down when the negotiation for the use of land on their first selected location was cancelled when the landowner changed their mind despite the near completion of the physical structure of the store. The mistake was not having a legal document to support their initial agreements that the construction was put on hold.

What followed was when the orders for the fishing materials and supplies were cancelled because most of the fishermen in the area were caught by the sea police after being caught at the protected fish sanctuary.

The overwhelming issues proved too much for the association officers who are mostly of senior age.

Living up to the name of their association, “Makugihon” which means to be hardworking or industrious, the association worked out their problems.

The women helped in transporting the salvaged materials from the first location of their store.

One of the association member offered a space within their property as new location of their store. People were hired to deconstruct the almost finished store. Even women helped in the laborious task of transferring the salvaged materials. As a lesson learned, they will be working out on having a written agreement

They still bought some of the needed supplies for fishing activities near the shoreline. A resolution was made to add grocery items since technically they are Mini General Merchandise and are encouraged by the locals as their barangay is along the National Highway but too far from the city proper.

Perseverance paid off for the association members as the celebrate this significant day as their business’ official opening.

Their Grand Opening is bittersweet for all. Dr. Jennifer W. Tan, City Mayor, and the rest of the City Council and Local Government Unit officials were present in the event in giving their support to the association.

Dr. Jennifer W. Tan, City Mayor of Tangub City, and Hon. Joel M. Limbaring, Barangay Chairperson of Balatacan, led the ribbon-cutting.

As the President of the association, Arcelie Ocampos has only these words to say, “Basta lang jud magkugi, walay dili masulbad. Magkanunayon lang sa Pagtoo ug paghimo kutob sa makaya. (As long as we we work hard, there is nothing we cannot solve. To be united in faith and making it work with what we can).”

The event was made more significant as Dr. Tan, their City Mayor, imparted her own words of wisdom, “Encourage nako ang association nga ampingan ug palamboon ang mga proyekto nga gihatag kay dako kaayo ni ikatabang sa mga lumulupyo sa Brgy. Balatacan labi na karong pandemic para dili na kinahanglan pa ang komunidad molayo pa sa pagpamalit kay naa na man inyo livelihood. Dili na lang kamo isa lang ka lumulupyo kun dili isa na kamo ka businessman (I encourage the association in taking care and making this project grow that is given to all of you, which would be a big help to your community in Brgy. Balatacan especially in this time of pandemic wherein the people do not have to travel far because of the now present livelihood project. You are not just residents but you are all now businessmen).”


The City Mayor even went into suggesting to their Barangay Chairperson in linking the association with one of the city’s major supermarket to sign them up as members so that can avail discounts on wholesale purchase. The private establishment responded to be open in providing free delivery of orders through proper communication channels.

“Dako amo kalipay nga ming.abot na jud among livelihood kay makatabang jud ni dungang income sa amo pamilya (We are very happy because we finally have our livelihood project which would greatly help us as additional source of income for our families)” according to Marites O. Empil, one of the association members.

Story and photos by Kay Lousil Sardenia, Project Development Officer II

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Bakas ng Pagsisikap


Pundasyon ng kaunlaran ang edukasyon. Ang halaga nito’y kailanman ay hindi matutumbasan. Ito ang tanging kayamanan na pamana ng magulang sa kanyang anak. Ngunit, sadyang may mga balakid na sadyang sumusukat sa katatagan at sumusubok sa pagsisikap ng mga taong gustong  mag-aral.

Kadalasang balakid sa pag-aaral ay ang kakulangan ng pantustos ng mga magulang sa lahat ng pangangailangan ng kanilang mga anak. Ang mga harang na ito’y tila madaling mahawi para sa mga taong patuloy na tinatahak ang piniling daan kahit na  maraming unos at bagyo ang kanilang madadaanan. Sila ang nagsisilbing representasyon na walang imposible na bagay sa mundo. Lahat ay posible. 

Pangatlo sa pitong magkakapatid si Alejandrino Yator Jr. o Jun kung tawagin sa kanyang pamilya’t kaibigan. Maagang namulat sa kahirapan ng buhay.  Ang kanilang pamilya ay larawan ng isang tipikal na uri ng pamilya sa lipunan na tanging ang bumubuhay ay ang padre de pamilya.

Nagsasaka ang kanyang ama sa lupaing hindi naman sa kanila. Ito ang pinagkukunan nila ng ikabubuhay para lamang makatawid sa pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan.  Salat man sa karangyaan, hindi ito nagpapahina sa kalooban ng kanilang mga magulang na papag-aralin at supurtahan ang kanilang mga anak.

Kahit malayo na narating niya sa buhya, hindi kinalimutan ni Jun kung saan siya nagsimula at ipinagmamalaki niya ito dahil ang pagiging magsasaka ay isang mainam na kabuhayan.

Nasa elementarya pa lamang si Jun nang natutong magtanim ng palay. Lahat silang magkakapatid ay katuwang ng kanilang ama sa pagsasaka. Kailangan nilang magtutulungan upang magapi ang lakas ng kahirapan.  Naging playground niya ang sakahan. Ang mga palay at kuhol, ang kanyang naging mga laruan at kalaro.

Nag-aaral siya sa Labo National High School noon nang sinubok ng kapalaran ang kanilang pamilya. Talagang kulang para sa kanilang pagkain ang kita ng kanilang ama kaya napilitan siyang huminto sa pag-aaral. Gustuhin man niyang tapusin ang haiskul ngunit kailangan muna niyang unahin ang kumakalam nilang sikmura. Dahil sa hirap ng buhay, dalawang beses siyang huminto sa pag-aaral. Umabot sa anim na taon ang kanyang ginugol para lamang makapagtapos ng haiskul.

Pagkatapos niyang makuha ang diploma sa haiskul, isinantabi muna niya ang kanyang mga pangarap. Pamilya ang kanyang inuuna.  “Mas pinili kong magtanim ng palay kaysa mag- aral. Buong araw akong nakabilad sa ilalim ng kapangyarihan ni haring araw, sa pagtulo ng aking pawis  kasabay din ang pagtulo ng aking mga luha. Walang araw na dumaan na hindi ko sinasabi sa sarili ko na hindi ako tatandang ganito”

 Sa oras ng pamamahinga, palaging sumagi sa kanyang isip ang natutulog niyang pangarap. Tinitimbang kung hahayaan na lamang matulog habambuhay o kailangan na niya itong pukawin. Buong lakas siyang nagpasyang gumising mula sa mahabang pagkahimbing. Bitbit ang lakas ng loob at determinasyon, iniwan niya ang buhay pagsasaka.

Batid niyang hindi maging madali ang daan patungo sa kanyang pangarap. Mga daan na katulad ng karamihang kalsada sa Pilipinas, maraming lubak-lubak at liko ngunit may mahaba pa rin at matuwid na pwedeng pagpipilian. 

Nagsisimula siyang mag-ipon upang maipagpatuloy ang kaniyang pag-aaral. Namasukan siya bilang isang taga- hugas ng sasakyan sa Route 88 Auto Spa. Tumagal siya ng isang taon sa pagtatrabaho doon hanggang sa nakilala niya ang isang Pari ng simbahang katoliko- si Fr. Sandy Cometa. Hinikayat siya nito na pumasok sa Seminaryo.

Pinagtiyagaan ni Jun habang nasa loob siya ng seminary para lang makamit ang kanyang pangarap na maiahon niya ang kanyang sarili at kanyang pamilya.

“Pahirapan daw ang buhay bilang isang Seminarista. Kailangan mong sundin lahat ng batas ng Seminaryo para hindi ka matanggal”. Sa Semnaryo siya nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na makapag-aral sa pribadong paaralan ng La Salle University. Minabuti niyang manirahan at mananatili dito kahit nahihirapan dahil nakikita niyang mas okey sa seminary kaysa nasa palayan siya,- maghapong nakayuko at maililibing nalang sa limot ang kanyang pangarap.

Tumagal ng apat na taon ang paninirahan niya sa seminary. Sa hindi niya maipaliwanag na dahilan, pinalabas siya ng mga pari. Walang paliwanag, walang paglilinaw. Basta na lamang siyang pinauwi sa kanila. Nakaramdam siya ng pagkabahala para sa kanyang pangarap. Naitanong niya sa kanyan sarili, Paano nalang ang mga pangarap ko? Babalik na naman ba ako sa pagtatanim ng palay?

Hindi niya sinukuan ang kanyang pangarap. Naging magulo man ito ng mga pangyayari ngunit hindi ito nakapagpatinag sa kanyang hangarin na maabot ang nag-iisang mithi ng buhay bagkus lalong nagpapatibay ito sa kanyang pagkatao.

Miyembro ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program o 4P’S ang pamilya ni Alejandro kaya ni refer namin  siya sa aming partner na Pribadong Ahensiya (Jolly Management Solutions).

Nakapasok siya bilang service crew sa Jollibe Ozamiz. Minamabuti niyang ipagpatuloy ang pag-aaral. Pinagsabay ang pag-aaral at trabaho. Ang kikitain niya dito ay para sa kanyang pag-aaral. Napakahirap! Puyat, pagod, galit mula sa boss, pagmumura mula sa mga customer,Lahat nang iyan ay buong puso niyang tiniis at hinarap. Tanging ang bumubuhay lamang sa kanya ay ang matinding damdamin na makatapos sa kolehiyo. Lahat ng disesyon, pokus ay para lamang sa pangarap. Hanggang sa natapos niya ang kursong Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy sa isang kilalang unibersidad ng Ozamiz.

Ngiting tagumpay matapos sa mga hirap at pagsubok na dinaan ni Jun.

Ngayon, isa na siyang ganap na guro at kasalukuyang nagtuturo sa Northwestern Mindanao State College of Science and Technology sa syudad ng Tangub.                   

Patuloy pa rin sa pagtuturo si Jun sa kanyang skwelahan sa pamamagitan ng online class ng dahil sa pandemya.

Ang mga karanasan niya sa buhay ang humuhubog sa kanyang buhay ngayon. Itinuturing na lamang niya itong sahog na nagpadagdag sa lasa ng niluluto niyang buhay. Isa lang ang nais niyang iparting sa kanyang kwento, ang ibahaging huwag sukuan ang pangarap dahil kung magkaganoon ikaw ang talo.

Kwento at retrato mula ni Mark Mangubat, Project Development Officer II

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Sustainable Livelihood Program association in Bukidnon installs handwashing facility in front of their community store


Many establishments are greatly affected with the ongoing health pandemic. Small enterprises are among the badly hit as they have exhausted reserved resources during the lockdown. After the lift of the lockdown, many stores were not able to operate again.

But for All Rice SLPA at Brgy. Kalagangan, San Fernando, Bukidnon, their Community Store has to work through the lockdown and face many challenges like restrictions as they serve their Indigenous People (IP) community situated in a Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA).

Extra measures were added by the SLP association to reduce the risk of transmission between the customers and the store operators.

The SLPA adapted the health protocols for COVID – 19 pandemic prevention such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing, but one notable initiative they did was installation of a wash area outside of their store where the customers could wash their hands; and plastic cellophanes were placed within their vicinity. The need for balance with economic needs and health safety would depend on the precautions set by local authorities and compliance of establishments. The association officers have taken these initiatives into themselves so that they can continue operating and serving their community.

Installing a handwash facility is to reinforce the message of having to frequently clean our hands in reducing the risk of virus transmission.

Their project has been operational for almost two (2) years already and have been growing ever since they opened up. It was originally a rice retailing store which was then expanded into a community store.

Composed of 40 members from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, 21 of the association members are members of the Matsulog tribe. The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 10 has always been prioritizing the marginalized and vulnerable in its programs and services. These identified groups, especially if they belong to poor households, are provided with opportunities to increase their earning capacities in becoming self-sufficient families. Their adaptation to new technologies and health safety measures ensures that IP communities continue to thrive in the modern world.

This Global Handwashing Day, we put great emphasis on the general public the importance to wash their hands with soap properly (at least 20 seconds) and frequently, especially during this pandemic. We can only end this with the cooperation of every individual. More important so the proper wearing of face masks, observance of physical distancing, and to stay at home except for essential errands.

All Rice SLPA is composed majorly with Pantawid household members from the Matsulog tribe. Adaptation ensure continuing existence of our IP communities.

May All Rice SLPA serve as a good example for all other SLP projects when it comes to hygiene promotion and disaster responsiveness.

Story and photos contributed by Ivanne Jay Zafra, Project Development Officer II

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Sustainable Livelihood Program opens motor parts and vulcanizing shop in an IP community


The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 10, through the Sustainable Livelihood Program, strives to reach the marginalized and vulnerable especially the Indigenous People in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA). Purok-Nangka, Barangay Stimson Abordo in Ozamiz City is said to be GIDA and is inhabited by a small community of Subanen tribe members. Marginalized and vulnerable as they are, most of them are beneficiaries of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous People (MCCT-IP).

Members of Stimson IP Kalambuan SLPA are mostly women from MCCT-IP households.

In 2019, 30 household members of the MCCT-IP in Barangay Stimson Abordo were organized into a livelihood association, Stimson IP Kalambuan SLPA, who opened their motor parts and vulcanizing shop with a simple ceremonial blessing attended by SLP staff and Local Government Unit officials by September 2020.

The shop was blessed by a priest and the ribbon-cutting lead by SLP staff and LGU officials.

Despite the threat of COVID 19, the association members worked in implementing their proposed livelihood project while observing health protocols after receiving their seed capital fund. This is very timely for the association members so as to have a source of income in recovering from income loss during the lockdown. With the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) status of Region 10, this allowed the SLP participants to work on their livelihood project. SLP staff will continue guiding and mentoring the association to ensure sustainability of the micro-enterprise and long-term functionality of the association.

Livelihood projects bring in progress and development especially for IP communities in GIDA places.

We wish the association a prosperous enterprising for many years to come.

Story and photos by Arlyn S. Gania, Project Development Officer II

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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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