MEMBERS of an association composed of indigenous people (IPs) in Iloilo province are the beneficiaries of a livelihood project initiated by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The assistance is under the Convergence on Livelihood Assistance for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Project (Claap), Assistant Secretary Anthony Gerard "Jonji” Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas said in a report during the Network Briefing News.
DAR-Western Visayas turned over livelihood assistance to 57 members of the Nagpana Minorities Association (Namias) in Sitio Nagpana, Barangay Lipata, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo. The Namias members belong to the Aeta Tribe.
The beneficiaries received 157 heads of swine with one 25-kilo bag pre-starter and two 50-kilo bags starter feeds, knapsack sprayers, spades and training kits composed of alcohols, facemasks, ball pens and notebooks.
The main source of livelihood for the Namias members is farming on the land awarded through the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT).
The women contribute to the family income by weaving products made of Nito due to the abundance of raw materials.
However, their earnings are still considered below the poverty threshold, especially during the occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic had made it difficult to market their products.
Because of this, DAR and DSWD provided the support and assistance to augment their income.
The Namias members themselves identified swine production (hog raising) as one of the livelihood projects they would like to engage in. Like their counterpart, they will provide the pigpen, labor and other materials.
DAR will also facilitate skills training on Techno Training on Swine Production, Training on Nito Weaving and Christmas Decoration, Training on Coffee Rejuvenation, and Training on Feed Formulation. These training are designed to strengthen their knowledge and skills.
Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino said the government’s intervention in the agriculture sector is geared towards raising its output and improving the livelihood of local growers.
“Our government line agencies have continued to extend the much-needed assistance to the agriculture sector as the current administration continues to push for inclusive growth and rural development,” Dino said.
The DSWD and DAR have agreed on the implementation of Claap.
Under the agreement, DSWD provides the funding for the livelihood program, which is taken from its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). This expands the scope of the agency's SLP to include poor agrarian reform beneficiaries.
DAR uses the funding for social preparation, technical capacity building, and capital assistance for livelihood and microenterprise projects to its target beneficiaries. (PR)