Koronadal Christmas bazaar showcases products by ‘poorest of the poor’

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 1 Dec) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 opened in nearby Koronadal City over the weekend a Christmas bazaar featuring products and ventures of beneficiaries of the national government’s conditional cash transfer program in the area.

Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said the initiative is mainly aimed to showcase the successes of the continuing implementation in the region of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps and its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) component.

She said they tapped beneficiaries of the 4Ps and the SLP as product concessionaires of the bazaar, which is dubbed“PaskoJuan Festival, Bazaar, Salo-Salo sa Pagbabago.”

“We are appealing to our residents to shop and patronize the products being offered at the bazaar. Join us in helping the beneficiaries succeed in their lives,” she said during its formal opening on Sunday.

The agency established a number of kiosks at the bazaar site, which is located along the national highway here.

Taha said the initiative is part of a nationwide showcase led by the DSWD central office for the 4Ps and SLP beneficiaries.

In Manila, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said in a statement that buying even just an item or two will greatly add to the income of the beneficiaries and provide hope for them.

Koronadal City Mayor Peter Miguel, who attended the opening of the bazaar, said they are working closely with the DSWD to uplift the lives of marginalized people in the region.

The DSWD had launched the SLP to provide livelihood opportunities to 4Ps beneficiaries, who are composed of the country’s “poorest of the poor.”

SLP is a community-based capacity building program that seeks to improve the socio-economic status of program participants or the beneficiaries.

It is implemented through the Community-Driven Enterprise Development approach, which engages program participants or beneficiaries to actively contribute to production and labor markets by making use of available resources and accessible markets.

The program aims to enable 4Ps beneficiaries to manage sustainable micro-enterprises or link them to locally available jobs that will enhance their access to basic social services and improve their standard of living.

DSWD-12 currently implements the initiative in the entire Region 12 and Marawi City in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Since its launching in the area six years ago, the agency has already served a total of 222,366 “poorest of the poor” households and released around P6.36 billion in cash grants.