The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) joined the Samahan ng Magsasaka SLP Association of Brgy. Gatbo and the Dakilang Kumikitang Kabuhayan SLP Pinit Association of Brgy. Pinit in the Ceremonial Launching of their livelihood projects at Brgys. Gatbo and Pinit, Ocampo, Camarines Sur on February 7 and 8, 2024.
The SLP Associations had similar livelihood projects, Native Duck Egg Production, aiming not just to become a profitable and sustainable livelihood but also to fight malnutrition in their barangays. Samahan ng Magsasaka SLP Association, comprising of 9 members, received Php 135,000.00 from SLP for their livelihood project, while Dakilang Kumikitang Kabuhayan SLP Pinit Association comprising of 12 members originally but currently only 10, received Php 180,000.00.
Both SLP Associations used the livelihood grants they received from the program for the purchase of egg-laying ducks and for the building of duck shelters. Both associations received technical assistance from SLP, their barangays and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) regarding their livelihood projects. The Brgy. Pinit association also received technical assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Pinit Irrigators Association, an association of farmers in Brgy. Pinit.
SLP’s partners in the livelihood project’s implementation and monitoring joined SLP in attending the launching of the projects. At Brgy. Gatbo, Ms. Cora Marie Ann D. Nicolas, Provincial Coordinator of SLP in Camarines Sur, SLP Project Development Officer (PDO) Ms. Judith Belen and the SLP Association were joined by Barangay Capt. Venosa and Barangay Kagawad Villaflor of Brgy. Gatbo, Mr. George Beldad of the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO), and Ms. Ruth Hermogeno of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). At Brgy. Pinit, SLP PDO Ms. Judith Belen and the Dakilang Kumikitang Kabuhayan SLP Pinit Associaiton were joined by Ms. Karen Benosa of MAO and Ms. Sarah Bersabe of DA.
SLP’s partners shared their messages of support and well-wishes for the success and sustainability of the associations’ projects. Mr. Beldad of the Municipal Agriculture Office emphasized how the Brgy. Pinit association’s livelihood project can help fight against the high malnutrition rates in their barangay, as the project will serve as a new source of good nutrition for the barangay residents. On the other hand, SLP Provincial Coordinator for Camarines Sur Ms. Cora Marie Ann Nicolas called for cooperation among members of the Brgy. Pinit association, as they are the operators of their livelihood projects; SLP and its partners are there to assist and guide them in sustaining and expanding their livelihood project.
The ceremony proved to also be an opportunity for the SLP Association to receive additional assistance, as the MAO and NIA committed to securing a water pump for use by the Brgy. Pinit association in the dry season: their livelihood project requires a sizeable water source for the ducks, and their current water source is known to dry up during the dry season making the water pump a necessity.
The MAO also committed to providing the association skills training on duck raising practices, to ensure that the association members have appropriate knowledge in caring for the animals.
The SLP Associations’ livelihood projects are a culmination of the partnership between SLP, Brgys. Gatbo and Pinit, the Department of Agriculture, and the National Irrigation Administration, made possible through the government’s Zero Hunger Program.
The Zero Hunger Program is a convergence program aiming to fight against hunger and malnutrition by ensuring food and nutrition security and reducing poverty in communities. DSWD serves as the lead agency in the program implementation through the Sustainable Livelihood Program.
For the SLP Associations and their livelihood projects, the members were identified and endorsed by the National Irrigation Administration to the Sustainable Livelihood Program. SLP then validated if all endorsed members are eligible to join the program, organized the members into an SLP Association, and then provided them with livelihood grants to start their project. Barangay Gatbo provided SLP and NIA assistance during field operations, and has committed to providing 2 livelihood focals who will assist SLP and NIA in monitoring and providing technical assistance to the SLP Association in Brgy. Gatbo.