DSWD, DAR ink MOA for the Livelihood Assistance to Poor Farmers

By: John Wilmer G. Jimenez (SLP-NPMO)

Quezon City - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) strengthened their partnership and signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in support of a development partnership project called the “Convergence on Livelihood Assistance for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Project” or the CLAAP.

The CLAAP is a joint collaboration of DSWD in support of DAR’s thrust to expand and increase farmer’s access to economic opportunities. Consequently, this project also expands DSWD-Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) scope to include poor agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) or small-holder farmers who are currently receiving minimal livelihood intervention in the Agrarian Reform Communities / Agrarian Reform Areas (ARCs/ARAs).

Under the agreement, the DSWD allocated and transferred to DAR a total of P 1 billion from its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) fund in accordance with the agency-to-agency fund transfers. This fund shall be used by DAR to conduct and provide social preparation, technical capacity building, and capital assistance for livelihood and microenterprise projects to its target beneficiaries. The CLAAP will be implemented for two years, which started last December 2017 and will conclude on December 2019. For this two-year engagement, it is expected that 36,000 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries will be capacitated on livelihood / enterprise development, as well as engaged in viable livelihood / microenterprise projects.

During his address, DSWD OIC Emmanuel A. Leyco said that DSWD and DAR mandates are intertwined as both Departments are directly involved in delivering services to the poorest of the poor. He also emphasized the role of SLP as the “pang-ahon” program of DSWD, capacitating the Pantawid beneficiaries to make them ready to lead microeneterprises.

The MOA between DSWD and DAR was signed last January 18, 2018 at the DSWD Auditorium, Quezon City between DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco and DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones. The witnesses include DSWD Undersecretary, OPG-Promotive Maria Lourdes Turalde-Jarabe, DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Office Rosalina O. Bistoyong, and  DAR Undersecretary for Special Concerns, Emily O. Padilla.