The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has launched a sustainable livelihood program (SLP) to ensure that livelihood interventions are innovative and responsive to the recipients’ needs.
During the grand launch of the new SLP at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian introduced the partners and other stakeholders of the integrated five-year livelihood sustainability plan of the program that will further enhance its implementation to become more effective and relevant.
He said Sibol, the new brand of the program, represents the step-by-step growth in the journey of SLP participants toward an improved well-being with equitable access to livelihood assets and resources.
“Like a plant, we grow with you. We make sure that we plant the seed, we nurture it, we water it, we watch it grow, and we watch it turn into something bigger than what it was. Iyon ang (That’s the) bottom line,” Gatchalian said.
The improvement in the guidelines of SLP implementation was also made as part of the Department’s effort to empower its intended clients, he added.
“We want to make sure that our development programs are not one-shot deals – that we provide the cash and we say goodbye. But rather, we want to make sure it is sustainable and that we partner, monitor and grow the economic enterprise with you,” he said.
The enhanced program aims to expedite the implementation process, rationalize cost parameters, and provide new training or capacity-building activities.
Under the new framework, program participants will need a longer incubation period of five years, and will be provided with intensified capability-building activities and additional livelihood incentives.
SLP participants, during the first year of the program implementation (Punla), will be prepared and cultivated with the basic knowledge and skills in starting up their own micro-enterprise or in securing employment.
The next two years (Usbong and Sibol) will be focused on maintaining their livelihood, becoming operational and able to secure positive gross sales and net income.
In year four (Yabong), program participants will be expected to prosper and bring their products to a wider and multi-faceted market.
“We want to ensure that we are your partner in growing that small business into a formal enterprise,” Gatchalian said.
The culminating phase (Ani) of the sustainability plan is the actual graduation of the participants, wherein they will be provided with a livelihood grant and incentive worth not more than PHP 250,000 per association.
During the event, Gatchalian called for the support of the local government units (LGUs), private sector, partner agencies and other stakeholders in strengthening the sustainability of the new SLP.
“Hopefully, everybody will help us grow this vision together,” he said.