DSWD gives hope to hinterland folks

ROXAS City – They arrived in the hall with their toddlers clinging to them. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) team, secured by the Philippine Army, had to tread the mountainous terrain of Maayon, Capiz to reach them.

Requiring them to go to the poblacion would mean high transportation expenses. The women very seldom go to the center of the town Some of them haven’t even gone to town for quite a long time.

They are beneficiaries of the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA), a DSWD program for livelihood.

Numbering to 30, the group is called West Villaflores SKA (Self Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran Association). They received P150,000 at P5,000 each.

The amount was a seed capital under the SEA-K, the national government’s micro-finance strategy for job generation and investment in human capital.

The program, which provides seed capital at no interest and payable in two years to its beneficiaries, helps establish community-based, self-managed credit facilities in the municipalities.

“First, we would like to congratulate your group. Manifesting your interest to SEA-K simply means that you want improvement in your lives, particularly for the betterment of your children.

We are the ones who make our own destinies. We are the ones who can shape it to whatever we want it to be. With this one step, you are proving to yourselves that you want good things to happen to your family,” said DSWD Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli who led the team to distribute the seed capital to the beneficiaries.

The members of the group are engaged in farming, mini store and selling gasoline.

“You are showing that you have goodness in your heart for the welfare of your children and families,” added Brigoli.

SEA-K has the following components: social preparation, group formation, capability building, capital assistance, technical assistance for business management and productivity skills and accessing other social services.

SEA-K has two levels. The first level provides a seed capital of P5,000 to members of associations to operate their own micro-enterprise.

The second level, called SEA-Kabayan, allows the members to avail loans for basic shelter, home improvement, and micro-enterprise expansion.

The SEA-K, however, does not just provide seed capital but also provides venue for personality development and positive value formation among its members.

“If you will perform well — and that entails repayment of the seed capital granted to you — you will have the chance to avail of the next level,” said Brigoli.

Mayor Wilfredo Borres Sr., who was also present during the activity, told the beneficiaries “to use the money to their micro enterprises.”

He added that the project “is not dole out” and that the beneficiaries have the responsibility to repay it in a two-year time.

Also present during the event were Regional Project Development Officer Mary Ann Masculino; Project Development Officer Eliseo Abucay; Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Jocelyn Orendez; MSWDO worker Melanie Dorias and Barangay Capital El Deramas. (May Rago-Castillo/DSWD/PN)