• By The Financial District


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already released PHP138.15 million pesos in livelihood assistance grant (LAG) to 13,647 qualified beneficiaries in Western Visayas as of March this year.

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Mary Ann Masculino, DSWD regional program coordinator for the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), said on Thursday that the LAG was developed when the Bayanihan Act I was enacted and is one of the social amelioration program (SAP) interventions of the department, according to a PNA report.

Under the program, those coming from the informal sector with existing enterprises before the health pandemic are provided with financial assistance to help them come up with an alternative project or use it to augment their capital.

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Its implementation is being coordinated with local government units (LGUs) as recipients are also beneficiaries of SAP. “They have been established as affected by the pandemic,” Masculino said in an interview.

Each recipient can receive up to a maximum of PHP15,000 grant depending on the project and assessment of the livelihood technical working group of the LGU. DSWD data showed that 1,067 beneficiaries in Aklan have availed of the program with PHP16 million fund that was already disbursed in March.

Further, PHP57 million has been disbursed to 3,955 beneficiaries in Antique; PHP810,000 for 67 recipients in Guimaras; PHP44.34 million for 5,658 in Iloilo; PHP20 million for 2,900 recipients in Negros Occidental.

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The funds were from the repurposed regular fund of the DSWD last year and the Bayanihan Act I. Masculino said that since LAG is an outright grant, then recipients have no obligation to pay it back to the DSWD. But they are expected to liquidate the money that they receive after 40 days to make sure that their grant utilization plan is followed.

She added that they are now finishing the distribution in several municipalities of Iloilo this week but they are also preparing for the second batch of the program this year targeting 11,226 families.

Those who already availed of the first batch are no longer qualified to avail of the next round.


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