MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced Friday that it is allocating a PHP1-billion fund for its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in Marawi City to help Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) get back on their feet.
“Yung PHP1 billion ay itatalaga natin para sa SLP ng Marawi,” DSWD Officer in Charge, Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco, said in a press briefing held at the department’s central office in Quezon City.
Leyco said the SLP in Marawi will not be limited to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and could thus be accessed by anyone.
“Kailangang maging creative tayo. Ano ba ang mga livelihood activities na pwede natin suportahan sa areas na yun? (We need to be creative in figuring out the livelihood activities that we could support in those areas,)” he said.
The SLP is a community-based, capacity building program that seeks to improve the socio-economic status of its participants through skills training, seed capital fund, pre-employment assistance, and cash for building livelihood assets. It offers two tracks — microenterprise development and employment facilitation.
“Our challenge in Marawi is how we can bring economic activities in the areas and we think that because Maranaos are traditionally merchants/entrepreneurs, that would be a good opportunity for DSWD and the community to work together,” he said.
Among the livelihood projects that the department could offer under the SLP are sewing, massage, food production and catering.
DSWD program development officers will help the beneficiaries conduct feasibility studies to determine a proposed livelihood’s viability.
The PHP1-billion budget will be sourced from the DSWD’s PHP7 billion unobligated budget for the SLP.
Meanwhile, Leyco said they are not closing the door on the expansion of the 4Ps to cover more Maranaos who are eligible to become beneficiaries.
“Do we have plans to expand? Yes we do. Kaya lang it has to go through a rigorous validation process. Hindi agad-agad. Kailangang mapag-aralang mabuti at kailangang ma-identify yung mga mamamayan sa Marawi na pwedeng isama sa Pantawid (But it has to go through a rigorous validation process. It cannot be rushed because we need to study and identify the Marawi residents who could be covered by the 4Ps),” he said.
The 4Ps in Marawi has about 11,000 household beneficiaries. (PNA)