Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries provided with capital assistance in Patar, Bolinao, Pangasinan are now earning additional income aside from the cash grants received bi-monthly from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. This is in preparation for their exit in the Program which ends in 2013 for them who are in the Set 1 areas. The provision of capital assistance to qualified Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries through the Sustainable Livelihood Program is among the strategies of DSWD to prepare the families become self-reliant after the 5-year program implementation.
“Kaya na namin, kasi nasimulan na ang mas magaan na buhay” (Life is easier now, we handle things better), said Marilyn Laguisma, 29 years old, when asked about the changes brought by government’s poverty reduction programs to her family. Marilyn is among the women in her barangay who are busy preparing for the souvenir items to entice foreign visitors in Patar from this month until the summer season. According to Marilyn, she realized the importance of having business inclination and maintenance of revolving capital in order to sustain projects .
Aside from capital assistance provided, mandatory trainings with values orientation and Basic Business Management were valued important in running their small business. Aside from additional allowance given to children, this also helped families acquire home appliances.
Janice Manzano, a 25-year-old swine and goat raiser and souvenir store operator, can vouch for the effectiveness of the program. She shared that her mini-store installed at the beachfront once reached a gross sale of Php 18,000.00 over the past summer season because of the tourists enticed with their shellcraft and souvenir items. Aside from added income, these businesses also divert their gambling activities to a more profitable activity. “Imbes mag-tong-it, asikasuhin ang negosyo,” (Instead of playing card games, the focus is on the business), according to Laguisma. Indeed, the Sustainable Livelihood Program proves to be beneficial for communities holistically.
(sent by Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II, Region I)