DSWD: 4,566 informal workers to get P68.4 M

By Mar S. Arguelles

Some 4,566 workers in the informal sector in Bicol would get P68.4 million in livelihood assistance to in the recovery of families continuously affected by Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol said on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, the DSWD through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) has allocated P68,485,364 in livelihood assistance to 4,566 workers in the informal sector, according to Arnel Garcia, DSWD Bicol regional director.

The informal sector consists of independent, self-employed small-scale producers and distributors of goods and services. Workers in this sector are for the most part not covered by the country’s labor laws and regulations.

“Many informal workers do their businesses in unprotected and unsecured places whose livelihood were affected by the community quarantine of the government’s Covid-19 health guidelines,” Garcia said.

The assistance would cover 102 towns and cities in Bicol’s six provinces with: Camarines Sur receiving the biggest slice with P22 million for 1,479 workers; followed by Albay with P15 million for 995 workers; Masbate- P12million (817 workers); Sorsogon-P9 million (612 workers); Camarines Norte- P6 million (402 workers); and Catanduanes with P4 million for 261 workers.

SLP regional program coordinator for Operations Earl Maximillan A. Cecilio said the program provides a maximum of P15,000-livelihood fund to each eligible beneficiary.

Beneficiaries of the program who preferred micro-enterprise activities may opt to have a group project or a combination of both individual and group projects.

“Further, the type of the project should be able to provide immediate income for the family and through SLP PDOs beneficiaries shall be monitored on the progress of their projects funded by LAG either by LGUs or DSWD,” he added.

SLP is a community-based capacity building program that aims to improve the socio-economic condition of the participants. It facilitates interventions that expand the existing livelihood assets (human, social, physical, natural, and financial capital) of the participants so they may either have gainful employment or establish their chosen micro-enterprise.