LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 21 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol has been pouring P3 million for a sustainable livelihood program that aims to ease poverty and hunger in the region, said its top official in the region.
Arnel Garcia, DSWD Bicol director, said the P3-million budget was released by DSWD for livelihood projects that fall under its “Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty” (PAHP) program.
He said the projects focus mostly on high value vegetable production that use organic farming as a method and for trainings on the production of community-based small-scale seaweed value added products or those which use seaweeds as a major ingredient, such as pancit, seaweeds, pickles, chips, puto and spring rolls.
Garcia said the program also provide trainings on dried anchovies production.
He said the livelihood projects have been pilot-tested in Bicol, wherein DSWD’s supplementary feeding program for day care centers are linked to the Department of Agrarian Reform’s support services program for their agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations or ARBOs, Department of Agriculture and local government units.
“These agencies have created greater synergy in engaging the poor households by working closely with rural communities to improve their social capital while addressing hunger and alleviating poverty in the community,” said Garcia.
He said PAHP seeks to create the essential social infrastructure to improve access of rural households to basic services and facilitate investments in the rural economy.
Garcia said to implement PAHP a memorandum of understanding was forged between the DSWD, DAR and DA last June.
He said PAHP is currently being piloted in Bicol and in Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga peninsula.
Garcia said in Bicol, the program is being implemented in Camarines Sur, particularly in the towns of Pili, Canaman, Ocampo, Bomboa and Calabanga; and in Sorsogon in Castilla town.
“It will soon be implemented in Camarines Norte, (also in Bicol),” he said.
Garcia said community based service providers and farm service providers now provide the needed food items required in day care centers and supervised neighborhood play (SNP) areas under the supplementary feeding program and other government food related programs.
“It is envisioned that PAHP will expand nationwide where the ARBOs, sustainable livelihood Program associations, cooperatives and other qualified farmers’ organizations will provide essential food items required for feeding the children in day care centers and SNP areas while improving farm productions,” he said. (PNA) LAP/GVR/RHAYDZ B. BARCIA/EBP