Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda on Monday sought additional funding for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 2022 to support its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) that will empower the country’s vulnerable and marginalized communities.
In a statement, Legarda said DSWD’s budget for SLP should be increased to ensure that poor Filipino households, especially those transitioning under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), would “eventually gain financial independence”.
The program increases the economic opportunities of poor Filipino households by equipping them with entrepreneurial and labor skills for self-sufficiency.
It offers two tracks, namely: the microenterprise development track, which provides a maximum of PHP15,000 seed capital fund; and the employment facilitation track, providing a maximum of PHP5,000 per individual as assistance for processing of employment documents and to augment expenses for the first 15 days of employment.
She said under the proposed budget of the agency, only PHP4.864 billion is allocated for SLP.
“With this proposed allocation, only around 8 percent of the 4 million families who are 4Ps beneficiaries will be accommodated under the microenterprise development track,” she said.
Legarda committed that she will actively push and introduce amendments to augment the DSWD budget and ensure that it is aligned with the pandemic recovery.
She said this would “help Filipinos cope with socio-economic challenges, reduce chronic poverty and promote human capital development in the country, especially amid the pandemic and the continuing climate crisis”.
Transitioning households under the 4Ps cover those whose level of well-being have improved and whose status have been upgraded to “non-poor.” Nevertheless, these households remain vulnerable with little or no buffer against economic shocks. The SLP is meant to prevent them from reverting to poverty.
The Micro-Enterprise Development track provides workshops, access to credit, and other support to start businesses.
Meanwhile, the Employment Facilitation track, which offers technical-vocational training and pre-employment assistance services.
Source: Philippines News Agency