Community members of Barangay Wagdas, Pandan, Catanduanes harvest cassava
from their plantation.

We often hear other people say: “may yaman sa lupa (there is treasure in the soil).” This is not the usual treasure chest with precious gems that we see in movies, but the limitless opportunities a soil can offer. One of these is livelihood.

Through the collaboration of communities, barangay and municipal local government units, national government agencies and private sectors, the municipality of Pandan saw a greater opportunity – an alternative livelihood for the affected people of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delicia Sabeniano, 31, a resident of Barangay Wagdas recalled her experience during the pandemic: “Hirap sa buhay tapos kulang sa pagkain kasi walang mapasukan na trabaho kasi hindi po makalabas ng bahay (It’s difficult to live with inadequate food to eat because we cannot work since we cannot go out of our houses due to restrictions).”

Since the province of Catanduanes is also prone to weather disturbances, the livelihood of fisherfolks is greatly affected.

Victor Alfon, 48, community volunteer of Barangay San Andres, cited that they cannot catch fish because of strong waves during the rainy season.

Seeing disasters as a major concern in the livelihood and employment of many, 11 barangays identified the cash-for-work for the establishment of cassava plantation as an alternative livelihood.

The cash-for-work sub-project with a total project cost of PhP 3,397,328.00 has 1,344 beneficiaries. This sub-project was funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS).

DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS uses the Community-Driven Development (CDD), a globally recognized strategy wherein it empowers communities to plan, decide and implement projects based on their identified needs.


Before the implementation of the sub-project, the communities asked consent from private landowners to use their properties for cassava plantation for which they received a permit of three (3) years. With over 17 hectares of land, the sub-project started from November until December 2020.

To fully establish the plantation, the Local Government Unit, through the Municipal Agriculture Office provided technical supervision to the beneficiaries. The office also worked out in acquiring the cassava cuttings in Sorsogon that will be used for the plantation.

The cash-for-work program gave communities employment during the pandemic.

Download the full story: Pandan finds golden opportunity through CDD_story