DSWD-12 gives out P97.8M in livelihood assistance for those affected by COVID-19

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 13 Jan) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has released around P97.8 million in livelihood assistance to residents of Region 12 (Soccsksargen) who lost their livelihood due to the continuing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Region 12 or Soccsksargen. Map courtesy of Google

Bonifacio Selma, DSWD-Region 12 assistant director, said Wednesday a total of 11,091 qualified beneficiaries from parts of the region have received one-time cash grants of as much as P15,000 each as of the end of December.

He said the assistance was under the Livelihood Assistance Grant (LAG) component of the Social Amelioration Program’s recovery phase.

It was among the emergency subsidy programs implemented by the national government to address the impact of the pandemic as set in Republic Act 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

Selma said the beneficiaries comprised individuals and families belonging to the marginalized sector such as market and street vendors, self-employed individuals, jeepney drivers, fisherfolk, farmers and other rural workers.

He said their primary sources of livelihood were mainly affected by the community quarantine measures implemented by local government units in the wake of the COVID-19 threat.

The assistance was given as “seed capital” to allow the concerned residents rebuild their livelihood, Selma said.

“Our field workers will be monitoring the recipients as to how they spent the grants,” he said in a statement.

Based on the guidelines, the agency had conducted a series of assessments on the target recipients in the region and included them in the LAG list after verification.

The total beneficiaries of the LAG in Soccsksargen was around 4,000 more than the nearly 7,000 earlier targeted by DSWD-12.

The released grants also doubled based on initial funding approved for the area of around P45.1 million. (MindaNews)