Friday, April 16, 2021

Women empowerment works, thanks to DSWD

CEBU CITY – Women are now empowered in Cebu and have become successful in their business undertakings, particularly those who are recipients of the government’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

 Valentina Razola is one of the successful beneficiaries of the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program in Cebu. She works for her association’s egg-laying business funded by SLP.

DSWD said that since last year, some 18,547 women became beneficiaries of the livelihood program amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

DSWD has led in the provision of opportunities for income-generating activities and livelihood development through the SLP implementation since 2011. The objective of the program is to reduce poverty and inequality by generating employment among poor households and by moving highly vulnerable households into sustainable livelihoods and toward economic stability.

SLP has two tracks - the micro-enterprise development track which provides participants with access to funds and training to set up their own microenterprise and the employment facilitation track which provides employable individuals access to locally available jobs through public-private partnerships. 

Beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program are the target population, with about 80% of participants in the program. Other beneficiaries are poor families identified by the Listahanan national household targeting registry.

Valentina Razola said being a member of the Barangay Biga Women Workers Association (BBWWA) in Toledo City gave her a chance to earn and provide for the needs of her family. Razola said she now manages her time well as a worker and a provider for her family after her husband, a construction worker, was forced to stop working due to the pandemic.

She and other members of the association have worked and served their community through their business that was funded by SLP. Razola does her work assignment in their egg-laying business.

Another DSWD beneficiary, Irene Antenero, a mat weaver from San Francisco town in Camotes Islands, was one of the recipients of the agency’s Livelihood Assistance Grant who received a P5,000 cash assistance from SLP. She said mat weaving is a laborious job as it takes a lot of effort to do one mat, and the profit was just enough.

The price of the regular size mat is P100 while the double size mat is P150. These mats are also brought and sold in Danao City in Mindanao. Antenero and her husband have been in this business for 15 years, but the pandemic has affected them, making it more difficult for their business to sustain.

“Our life was hard. We just took crops from our backyard like camote tops or banana plantains and sell them to our neighbors to make money. It was hard earning a living during the pandemic. Orders for our native mats are scarce. We need to improvise to survive,” she said. “It is a relief I now have the money to buy materials for the mats. Even if we were still in community quarantine, I continued weaving mats so that, when the situation would normalize and the quarantine lifted, I already have stocks of mats to sell.” (Carlo Lorenciana)

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