GRANT. One of the 57 individuals from Sorsogon province who are beneficiaries of a livelihood grant from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) receives her aid on Wednesday (Sept. 21, 2022). Qualified for the social amelioration program are those who have an existing small business, or whose employment was affected by the pandemic, and did not benefit from other government interventions. (Photo courtesy of DSWD Bicol)

LEGAZPI CITY – A total of PHP555,445 livelihood assistance was provided to 57 individuals from Sorsogon province as part of the Covid-19 response of the Department of the Social Welfare and Development in Bicol (DSWD-5).

In an interview on Thursday, Ram Joseph Zaragoza, DSWD-Bicol project development officer for Sustainable Livelihood Program, said the beneficiaries were from the towns of Matnog, Santa Magdalena, Gubat, Irosin, Magallanes, Casiguran, Pilar, and Castilla.

“The livelihood assistance grant was provided to the 57 individuals on Wednesday to help them respond to the recovery and rehabilitation of those who lost their livelihood due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It's financial assistance to those who have existing small businesses, like a 'sari-sari' store, fish and vegetable vendors, and public utility vehicle drivers," Zaragoza said.

He said qualified for the social amelioration program are those who have an existing small business, or whose employment was affected by the pandemic, and did not benefit from other government interventions like the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Before the release of assistance, he said applicants were assessed and validated. House visitation was conducted to determine if they deserve the assistance and if they adhere to the qualifications.

"Each recipient received at least PHP10,000 to 15,000 financial grant. Upon release of the grant, a project monitoring team will ensure that the financial assistance was implemented in the intended program," Zaragoza added. (PNA)