Driven by the goal to revert entrepreneurs to their Corona virus-disrupted businesses, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region XII (DSWD 12), through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of Tacurong, released monetary livelihood assistance to small-time business owners, vendors, and service workers from twenty barangays of the city through a simultaneous payout activity on six clustered venues, October 1-2, 2020.

With a total amount of 6,615,000 pesos, the Sustainable Livelihood Program-Livelihood Assistance Grant (SLP-LAG) of DSWD 12 aims the rehabilitation of livelihood and restoration of resources to 1,107 Tacurongnon entrepreneurs with bread and butter stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic and service workers whose line of work, like massage services, defy the social-distancing norm.

According to Josephine M. Ubaldo, CSWDO-Livelihood and Skills Development Training Head, the identification of vendors and service workers as primary and secondary recipients of SLP-LAG is a joint decision from the Technical Working Group of the Local Govenment Unit of Tacurong composed by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior and Local Govenment, Department of Trade and Industry, and the city’s Planning Office and Public Employment Service Office.

Present on specified venues hosted by the gymnasiums of Brgy. Griño, Brgy. New Isabela, Brgy. Rajah Mudah, Brgy. Upper Katungal, Brgy. San Emmanuel and the City Grand Stand were mostly Balut vendors, merchants of various goods, and carenderia and sari-sari store owners with readily filled out Social Amelioration Card (SAC) Form and valid ID to present to the personnel of DSWD 12 and Tacurong LGU stationed on each site.

Also in attendance, Eufemia L. Robles, DSD, City Social Welfare and Development Officer, Jonathan B. Mandi, Social Marketing Officer, DSWD 12, and Merdibon Mangana, EO70-SLP-Focal Person, DSWD 12 supervised the undertaking and resolved some little bumps on the road posed by non-disclosure of business by some grantees.

As mandated by DSWD 12, a grantee must have been a recipient of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) or Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and must have declared an existing small-scale business prior to the distribution of SAP earlier this year to qualify for SLP-LAG.

Moreover, the lowest amount a qualified individual can claim is 5,000 pesos and depending on the Grant Utilization Plan (GUP) required by DSWD 12 that bares the itemization of one’s business capital and expenses, a beneficiary may receive figures exceeding the minimum.

Brgy. New Isabela, the biggest beneficiary of SLP-LAG, collected and disbursed a sum of 975,500 pesos to 178 residents identified with businesses. Hon. Jose Javier, Brgy. Captain, expressed his warmth of heart in seeing his constituents receive cash aid and he hoped for a second or third batch follow-up activity so more barangay dwellers, not just in New Isabela but also around Tacurong, can avail.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) is a national project allocated under Bayanihan 2 (Bayanihan to Recover as One Act) replacing the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of Bayanihan 1 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act). (Daniel Espadon)