Cordillera Administrative Region – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here, through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), distributed around P70,260,000 worth of livelihood assistance to 3,513 families displaced due to Typhoon Ompong and the banning of small scale mining in Itogon, Benguet as of July 12, 2019.
This livelihood assistance consists of PhP 20,000 worth of grant from the Seed Capital Fund (SCF) to provide start-up capital for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) for the establishment or rehabilitation of their livelihoods.
To recall, on September 15, 2018, Itogon was devastated by Typhoon Ompong causing a massive landslide in Barangay Ucab Level 070 where more than a hundred people perished. The community then again experienced the onslaught of Typhoon Rosita on October 30, 2018 that prompted the evacuation of residents to Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to ban mining activities in Itogon resulting to the loss of livelihood and employment of most Itogon residents.
This prompted the DSWD through the SLP to launch a series of assessment starting 22 September until November 2018 to assess the affected families on the possible provision of livelihood assistance.
During the assessment, the IDPs identified and prepared their own project proposals based on their needs and interest, IPDOs then reviewed the feasibility of the selected livelihood and recommended it for approval.
Before releasing the assistance, a Basic Livelihood Training was conducted in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Itogon municipal government.
During the training, the beneficiaries learned the basics of bookkeeping, financial literacy and the characteristics of a true entrepreneur to help them in manage their livelihoods.
“Through this livelihood assistance, we hope that these IDPs could recover, start and improve their quality of lives through the application of new learned entrepreneurial skills in managing their own livelihoods,” OIC-Regional Director Leo L. Quintilla said.
From their proposals, most of the IDPs are venturing into sari-sari store, hog, cattle and goat raising, poultry, souvenir and soft broom making, vegetable production, and retailing.
“Daytoy kuwarta nga naalak ket igatang ko para idjai inpropose ko nga panag taraken iti baboy a padakelen ken paado ek tapnu adan to iti agtultuloy nga pangalaan me iti pang gatang kadagiti kasapulan ken usaren dagiti apok iti panagadal da (This assistance will be used for my proposed hog-raising livelihood, which I will raise and increase the number of heads so that we will have a lasting source of income for us to be able to buy our daily needs and support our grandchildren schooling),” said Josephine Amado a 68 year old IDP.
These IDPs are given 2 weeks to purchase the materials needed and implement their projects with the guidance of the IPDO. After three months, the Monitoring PDO with the municipal government will start monitoring the projects.
On May 16, 2019, the DSWD with the Itogon municipal government, and all punong barangay of Itogon signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the monitoring of projects and provision of support services to the IDPs witnessed by the representatives from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry, Office of the Civil Defense and Caritas Baguio.
The release of livelihood assistance for the remaining 161 families will be done within the semester.
By Babble Mae Gorio