7K poor families in Soccsksargen to get P45.1-M livelihood aid

By Allen Estabillo

September 29, 2020, 6:10 pm

<p>Cezario Joel Espejo, director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Region 12 (<em>Photo courtesy of DSWD-12</em>)   </p>

Cezario Joel Espejo, director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Region 12 (Photo courtesy of DSWD-12)   

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Nearly 7,000 poor families in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) that were hit hard by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) health crisis are set to receive a combined PHP45.1 million in livelihood assistance from the national government.

Cezario Joel Espejo, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 12 director, said Tuesday the target recipients are families who have lost their livelihood and income due to the crisis.

Espejo said the assistance would be released under the Livelihood Assistant Grant (LAG) component of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

The beneficiaries will mainly receive start-up capital for their chosen small or micro business ventures, he said.

“We will release the livelihood funds to the qualified families anytime this week in coordination with our local government units,” Espejo told reporters.

He said they identified and validated a total of 6,998 beneficiaries from the region’s four provinces and five cities based on the slots allotted by their central office.

Soccsksargen consists of the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, and Cotabato.

Edgar Guerra, DSWD-12 program coordinator for the Sustainable Livelihood Program, said the beneficiaries are mostly small vendors and owners of sari-sari stores.

Guerra said each of them would receive maximum grants of PHP15,000, depending on their approved project proposals.

“This is intended to help them rebuild and recover from their economic losses,” he said.

Based on the program’s guidelines, Espejo said, the agency had conducted a series of assessments on the target recipients and included them in the LAG list after verification.

It provides that families previously covered by SAP are still eligible to avail of the livelihood assistance, subject to qualification assessment and validation, he said, adding that the LAG may be released in cash through door-to-door or site payout and any other mode that would be convenient and safe for the beneficiaries and DSWD-12 personnel. (PNA)