Welcoming Sea Breeze

Taguilon Seabreeze Rice and Corn Retailing SLP Association is composed of 20 members in Seabreeze, Taguilon, Dapitan City. They are all identified pantawid beneficiaries. Most of their income from fish vending and they have few members are plain housewife to take care of their children while their husband is a fish vendor whose income is minimal and is enough for the family’s daily needs sometimes no income due to weather conditions that affects their day to day living. They admitted that sometimes they borrow large amount of money and credit of rice for that meal so that they could suffice and provide the basic and other educational needs of their children.

By the help of Sustainable Livelihood Program, they were given the privilege to put up their own micro-enterprise through Seed Capital Fund through the help of PDO assigned in the area. The project was implemented last November 18, 2018 with amount granted of P200,000.00 and attended by the City Mayor, Barangay Captain, and PDO’s.

In their one year and six months of operation the enterprise of Rice and Corn Retailing they add enterprise which is the Sari-Sari Store. The business went smoothly and full of stocks. The members also perform their duties and responsibilities through rotation of duties to their store. They have gain profit a total of Php143,253.47 in 1 year and six months operation. From their profit they save 40% in bank as of now they have cash on bank in amount of P38,934.00, Account receivables P141,544.72. It comes from the members and outside of the members are mostly of their customer worker from DAKAK Beach Resort, Dapitan City through “Utang-Bayad System” in every 15th and 30th of their salary.

All members of the Association according to them they can provide now the daily needs of their family from their monthly income received of the Association.    

What is the importance of the livelihood to her? Aside from it is a big help, can earn extra income, serves as additional savings and did not difficult to credit of rice and other daily needs. They said that the livelihood that was given to them significantly helps them on how to handle the enterprise and how to proper records of financial recordings.

The Taguilon Seabreeze Rice and Corn Retailing SLP Association, they value all the efforts and works of the staff especially to the implementing PDO assigned in the area for giving them the opportunity to impart their knowledge and skills and of course as a couple they have exerted efforts for the success of everything they did and because of that they helped their husband of the expenses of their daily needs and not like before only their husband have an income. And for now they have time to bonding their family, bought extra clothes of their childrens and they can give baon to their children.   When they have a time their husband without income they did not to hesitate to credit of rice and viands in the association not like before “balibaran sila mangutang sa tindahan”. For one year and six months of operation of enterprise all members becomes closer each other, they helping each other even though they have a time not understand the situation but in that time they are fixed before they end the meeting. To sustain the program that was given to them, they will keep everything in a right way and will do their best to develop bigger perspective and more abundance that the family are going to receive and hopefully it also possibly reaches their goals to receive bigger income in the future.

Taguilon Seabreeze Rice and Corn Retailing SLP association are very thankful especially to those people who helped them in pursuing this project.

“Pasalamat me og dako sa maong programa, sa enterprise nga ila gihatag kay dako kayo ang natabang namo labi na sa among kinahanglanon adlaw-adlaw og ako manghinaot nga naa pay dugang nga assistance nga ihatag sa SLP para namu nga mga pobre tungod kini among gikuhaan og Dugang panginabuhi para sa among mga anak og pasalamat me og dako tanang nadawat sa programa sa DSWD-SLP nga unta magpadayon ang kakugi sapag amoma sa among project”. SLPA Members

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Commitment is the Key

AilenSumaderis a bonafide resident of Barangay Gumahan in the Municipality of Josefina in the Province of Zamboanga del Sur. She was born on May 29, 1975. She is designated to be the Cashier and Store Attendant of Gumahan SLPA. She is married and is a mother of five.  Aileen Sumader is on her last term of being a Brgy. Kagawadwhile her husband is employed as Security Guard.

Ate Ailen may be a Brgy. Kagawad but it does not mean that she is living a comfortable life. She is also a member of 4Psand their source of income is not enough to support the needs of their family especially all of her 5 children are still studying and 2 of these 5 are college students at that time. As she described, it was never an easy life. Budgeting their small income for the education of her five children and other daily and monthly bills was hard given the fact that there’s no source of extra income for other and/or emergency expenses.  Most of the times, when financially broke they would have to borrow money from others with high interest rates to have food or sometimes they would buy whole corn and spend for the process for it to be cooked and be a substitute for their rice because the stores in Josefina do not allow credits.

Last October 8, 2018, after they underwent series of orientation and trainings, other social preparation activities, and processing of requirements in compliance to availing the program, their 470,000 SCF grant fromSustainable Livelihood Program finally arrived. They are a duly organized association named Gumahan SLPA composed of 47 members.Gumahan SLPA’s major enterpriseon Rice Buy and Sell located Brgy. Gumahan, Josefina. They started their business operations last December 14, 2018. They were very glad to have received such blessing because they no longer have to worry where they could borrow money to buy rice because they are allowed to get 1 sack of rice and pay after 1 month as part of their association agreement and their benefits as members.

“Nakatabanggyudsamgataongmgananginahanglan, dililangsaamoamgamiyembroperopati pod among mgasilingannakabenepisyoniini kay kami raangga offer og 1 month to pay nabugas.”

After their first year of operations, for their first year anniversary, it was really a celebration because the SLPA was able to generate a total net income amounting to 331,600.50and was profit shared among the members. Through their handworks, effort given, perseverance and team work this was made possible.  As of September 2020, their total net income is amounting to 115, 141 pesos deposited in their savings account with cash on hand amounting to 105,632 pesos.

Ate Ailen is designated as SLPA’s Cashier and store attendant for their Bigasan Enterprise. She shared how difficult the task given to her during the first few months of operations, having to handle financial transactions, and other records of their enterprise was a big adjustment for her. Making sure everything is organized and kept well for she knows everything is important. She said her task taught her the importance of transparency and honesty in running an enterprise and keeping the trust given to her by the association.It is a constant collaboration with all the elected officers who really functions as to their designated roles and tasks. She believes that being committed is the key.

AteAilen also shared how the program helped her in in providing for her family through the monthly honorarium she receives amounting to 3,000 per month.  One of her children already graduated in college and she said being part of the SLPA is a big contribution in providing the needs of her children. She is very thankful and grateful for the once in a lifetime opportunity that was given to them.

“Nakatabangpahumansaakong college student, nakahatagog extra income kanamoognakabenepisyopud among komyunidad..” Ate Ailen saidsaid.

Ate Ailen also expressed that this program did not just helpthem with regards to financial aspect but also to other aspects in life. Ailen and other SLPA officers shared their good practices, its being patient, humble, honest, commitment to work and respecting each other are their ways to having a harmonious relationship and successful business.

“Dakong pasalamat gikan namong tanan para sa DSWD – SLP sa opportunity and chance na gihatag kanamo. Amoang buhaton among best para mapadayun ang livelihood project na gihatag hantud sa hantud..”

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Building Resilience, Building Lives

Andresa G. Cortes, married and 45 years old was born and raised in Barangay Maya-maya, Tambulig Zamboanga del Sur. She is a mother to two kids and married to Edgar Cortes, a farmer and a Barangay Councilor at the same time. She is also currently on her third term as the Barangay Chairman of Maya-maya.

Being born and raised in the farthest barangay of the Municipality of Tambulig specifically Barangay Maya-maya, where farming is the major source of livelihood, she shared with the struggles of her people. Having limited resources and lack of access to economic opportunities. They may have the area- wide farmlands but were not fully utilized due to lack of resources to finance farming activities. Ironically, majority of the people are farmers but most households buy rice or corn from the market.

In 2010, KapitanaAndresa became one of the Pantawid beneficiaries in the Barangay. Being an active member of the community, the people see a leadership potential in her. She got elected as Barangay Chairman in 2013.

In 2014, the Sustainable Livelihood Program was introduced to them during one of their Family development Session. Knowing the struggles of the farmers in the barangay, she thought the program will be a very great help for them. She urged her co-Pantawid beneficiaries to avail the program and ensured full support for them. They formed into an association and was named Maya-maya SLP Association and elected Ms. Vivian Mocoy as President.

The Maya-maya SLP Association received the seed capital fund worth Php 400,000.00 in 2016. But because the association is still in disbelief of the grant received and was partly hesitant to utilize the grant because of the fear that they may end up bankrupt, they were unable to open their enterprise.

Until 2018, with assistance from then implementing PDO and continuous support from KapitanaAndresa, the association finally braved to start the operation of their enterprise. They engaged into Buy and Sell of Chicken Dungs and Agri-Supply.  The association decided to adapt an order-based policy. Items are purchased according to the list of orders. With the support and initiative of KapitanaAndresa, an LGU vehicle is requested to deliver the items purchased and the association will only pay for the gas. In this way, the SLPA were able to save the transportation expenses.

Also because of the savings from transportation expenses, the association does not have to add more costs to the SRP of the items. That means the customers can avail them at almost if not same with the competitive market price. And this means a BIG HELP to the farmers in the Barangay.

Before the operation of the Maya-maya SLP Association, the farmers of the barangay have very limited farm produced because of the limited resources to finance their farming activities. Not to mention the difficulty of the mode of transportation being the farthest barangay in the Municipality. In this reason, the farmers are ironically always running short of produced that they have to buy their own rice/corn for their families’ consumption.

But after the SLPA started its operation, the farmers are able to have access to credit at a very minimal interest rate of only 2% monthly. KapitanaAndresa is proud to say that the farmers of Barangay Maya-maya are now able to provide for their families’ needs because they are able maximize production of farm produced.

“Daghang Salamat sa DSWD ug sa SLP nganapiliamuang barangay nga matagaan ug capital kay dako kaayo kini nga tabang sa katawhan ilabina sa amuang mga mang-uuma.” Kapitana Andresa said.

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Captain of the Lower

In 2013, Barangay Lower Conacon in the Municipality of Bayog have a charming, happy and a public servant lady.

Gemma Malaque Gumolon, 42 years old, married to Mr. Rey Pasco Gumolon. They have two children namely Remyjoy and Rainier.

This family lives their life simple, they planted fruits and vegetables and small agricultural farm for their living. Being a barangay kagawad receive an honorarium of 2,000- 3,000 pesos a monthly which is not enough.It was never easy as to imagine how their life lives in that moment. In the year 2007 a survey from the Department of Social Worker and Development conducted to approve the 4Ps beneficiaries in their Barangay. But they were all subject for approval and validation. A blessing comes in the year 2009 to the family of Gumolon as an approved pantawid beneficiaries. It was a new start of their dreams to come true and need to work harder for progress.

Pantawid beneficiaries were priority of the sustainable livelihood program offered from the agency of DSWD. But, not all of them will be granted within their community. They must work hard of it by attending orientation and other form of activity in forming an association. The application was made of twenty-five participants. The application did not take long. They granted a project amounting to Php250,000 pesos as a start-up capital for their income generatingproject. The assistance was under the SLP modality which is the Seed Capital Fund. It is capacity building grant given to the eligible SLP participant belonging to an SLP association.

The association enterprise was abaca production. They struggled how to start the business. They asked help from the PDO and LGU worker to assist them. September 2015 they received the abaca seeds. They look for a space where they could plant it. With the leadership of Gemma, she asks her father if they could lend an space for free for the abaca.  They borrowed two hectares from Gemma’s father and one hectare from Letecia A. Monares a member of the association. It shows how they are eager to help each other for the association. The abaca located at the Barangay Lower Conacon.

Their abaca will generate income after one or two years if it is ready to harvest.  The association members feel sad and impatience as they never receive any income that can help to their daily needs. Gemma and the group had a meeting and they decided to find another way to generate an income. Some members suggested for Bigasan enterprise and some were suggested hogs raising. They couldn’t proceed to Bigasan enterprise because of hazardous to travel of sacks ofrice. And hog raising because lack of water supply. One of the member suggested for money lending with 5% interest additional to principal amount in return for quarterly. The interest collected must be deposit into the account of the association. Gemma leads the voting which and what will be their additional income generating other than the abaca production. Majority of the member wanted the money lending with additional interest in return.

September 2018 they have cash in bank amounted to 125, 487 pesos and cash receivables to be collected on the month of November 120,400 pesos it includes the money lending payments. As of this moment they already earned forty-one thousand pesos in return of their investment in the money lending for three years after the grant received. For abaca production they encountered problems on how to harvest the abaca. First, is the location of the abaca, is a remote area and the machines are not ease to travel in the location and the availability of the owner of it. The group decided that with the cash availability they have, they can already buy a new machine “galingan” for abaca. Through this they can save more money rather than to pay high rate to the harvester. Planning and preparation of the group are ready. They are now looking for the best machine in the market.

According to Gemma, the members of the association appreciated and grateful to the 4Ps and SLP for the chances and opportunities they have right now. Because they can barrowed money for emergency purposes in the school and medical health with a lowest interest rate and can repay it within their capacity.And in the near future they claiming that the abaca production will grow more and have additional agricultural farm. Through the improvement of their agricultural farms they can also give opportunities to the residence in the community to be part of the association. Gemma also prepared the lease of contracts to both parties, the owner of the land and the SLP association in which their abaca located. Gemma’s leadership gain trust and confident not just to the community as will us to the association where she belongs. A woman with integrity and compassion for the people as she is now re-elected as Barangay Captain of the Lower and Upper Conacon. Sometimes she receives negative comments from bashers being a leader, yet she never gives up in leading to the association. Because she wanted that her members will grow and be responsible before she will leave the position of a president. She developed the “Magkahiusa aron Molambo ang Matag Usa”. Molding and equipping her members on how to be responsible not just within the association but also to the community where they belong. If Kapitana Gemma is not around, the rest of the officers takes in-charge in every meeting. That is how Captain of the Lower leads them. 

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Empowered SLPAs in Zambo lead production of free masks for community, frontliners

The seams and stitches have brought changes in the lives of SLP associations. Recounted through the years of successful livelihood of sewing, the dreams and hopes of program participants are intertwined through collective efforts and desire to sustain the change in their community. These opportunities were made possible through the funded skills training to provide seed capital funds for Microenterprise development of the SLPAs.

Little did they know that apart from learning the skills from these dressmaking businesses can not only provide income for their members and support their family but can also turn into blessings to others.

Challenged by the unforeseen enemies brought by the threat of COVID-19 in the country, many of the people in the communities were affected by these dilemmas. The stringent social distancing measures due to declaration of enhanced community quarantine has affected the majority of the population not only in COVID stricken areas in Luzon but also in Zamboanga City which has recorded five confirmed to date.  These directives have led to massive panic buying and unavailability of stocks most especially in disinfectants, alcohols and masks. 

However, the formidable situation didn’t hinder the members of the Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations in Zamboanga City to stop their operation but instead they find this opportunity as blessing in disguise to render their services and help those who are in dire need of masks for protection. The scarcity of face masks led the associations to initiate its production so they can help their community protect themselves. The associations of STARLIGHT and Sistrera Dela Victoria SLPAs were able to initially produce more than 1,000 washable face masks. The situation has shed light to members of these SLPAs to utilize their skills of sewing in their livelihood. These initiatives were made possible using the materials from their own miscut cloths.  Only a few of their produced face masks were sold for only Php10-Php20 while some were given for free among their neighbors, family members including those frontliners in their vicinity.

“Alegre kame cay ta puede kame ayuda na otro. Necesita man ayudahan kita, que rico man o pobre necesita man uyun kita para puede kita man fight con este cosa ta pasa ara y man share kita el blessing con aquelos bien necesita gayod ayuda. Ohala descansa ya este calamidad. Ohala hindi kita viola na cosa ta abla el govierno canaton, esta kita na casa para hindi este man calayat” Said Alejandra Dela Cruz, President of Sistrera Dela Victoria SLPA

(We are happy that we are able to help others, we need to help each other. Regardless of our social status, we need to go along with each other and face the challenges ahead of us. We also need to share what we have, to those who have little, or none at all. We hope this calamity will end soon and  hoping no one will violate what the government is requesting for us to do to in order to prevent the spread of the virus.)

“Man  junto junto kita ayuda maga hente que necesita ayuda. Hace kita este contribucion na de aton ciudad.”  Salvacion G. Mabologtong, President of Ayala Starlight SLPA added.

(Let’s help people together who are in need. Let this be our contribution to our city)

Indeed during difficult times, the Bayanihan spirit will always prevail among Filipinos. For more than a year, the bags, dresses and other woven materials they have produced have represented their hopes and aspirations that are woven through their seamless determination towards sustainable change.

More SLPAs have followed the initiative in giving out masks to the public and barangay officials in the community.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) is a capability-buildingprogram of the DSWD for poor, vulnerable and marginalized households and communities to improve their socio-economic conditions through accessing and acquiring necessary assets to engage in and maintain thriving livelihoods.

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DSWD Market Market Product Display

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) conducts Market Market Product display as part of its 69th Anniversary on January 27-31, 2020 held at the DSWD Office Grounds, Zamboanga City.

Majority of the products displayed were production of Sustainable Livelihood Program(SLP) Association from the different municipalities of Zamboanga Peninsula. Nineteen (19) SLPA participated in featuring various products. The Agency’s Project Development Officers assist the transportation of products and facilitated during the product display.

The agency also invited DSWD Retirees and Area Vocational and Rehabilitation Center III Clients who have contributed their passion and hardwork and continuos to support the office. Also, Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated  Development Alliance Inc. (ZaBiDa) was welcome to display.

“As we celebrate the 69th DSWD Anniversary, we would like to take pride of the products that our department was able to contribute in molding our champions, who are our SLP program participants, our clients, people who became part of our agency and also our partners.” Said Ma. Eva E. Avila, SLP Regional Program Coordinator

The activity was supported also by our private partners who lend their tents, Globe Zamboanga and KCC Mall de Zamboanga. This activity is a practice that the agency conducts to mainly promote products of our champion, the SLP program participants.

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Community Job Fair through SLP held

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Sustainable Livelihood Program conducted a community Job Fair in Brgy. Hall of Mampang, Zamboanga City.

The said activity is in partnership with Barangay Local Government Unit, Public Employment Service Office and Department of Labor and Employment. Among the partners which participated are KCC Mall de Zamboanga, Shop-o-rama Group of Company, Mang Inasal, Gatchallan Agency, and Great Hands Service Cooperative.

More than 100 applicants signified their interest to apply in the different positions available. There were also applicants who were immediately hired by  and requested to process the needed requirements immediately.

The community job fair has been a good practice of the Sustainable Livelihood Program for almost 3 years. This aims to help increase chances for community members to explore employment  opportunities where the probability of being hired is high.

This activity is in line of the Sustainable Livelihood Program’s track, which is Employment Facilitation. It is a track that provides assistance to qualified member/s of poor households who prefer employment rather than engaging in microenterprise.

Sustainable Livelihood Program is a capacity-building program for poor, vulnerable and marginalized households and communities to help improve their socio-economic conditions through accessing and acquiring necessary assets to engage in and maintain thriving livelihoods.

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