Sta. Maria, Davao Occidental (DSWD XI) – For the 30 Tagakaolo members of Datu Daligasao Farmers Association (DADAFA) of Brgy. Datu Daligasao, the Department’s Livelihood Program (SLP) is a blessing from the government that comes rarely to their place.

Datu Daligasao, an almost isolated barangay in the municipality whose roads have been constantly devastated by heavy rainfall, shelters a community of Tagakaolos engaged in agricultural production for a living like corn production and hog raising.

Some members own hectares of land but still have to loan from the nearby lower barangay to finance their livelihood. The income they get will now be divided between their actual needs and the interest they still have to pay their creditors.

But with the intervention of the Department of social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), the members who have indebted more than what they actually earn now do not have to loan from another barangay. Their very own SLP association helps finance their individual livelihood ventures for an interest of only 3.5% to be paid within a maximum of 5 months.

This is not exclusive to the members but also open to the other members of the Tagakaolo community in the area but with an interest of 5% to be paid within the same period. Some 55 non-members have already availed.

The group encourages all its members to expand. In fact, the group is on their second release to members who have completed their first loan.

Dili dapat magsalig ra sa mga cash incentives. Dapat ubanan pud og pagpaningkamot (We should not just rely on cash incentives but we must also work hard),” one of the members said.

All members are Pantawid Pamilya grantees. To date, a total of 484 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the town have been accessed to various livelihood opportunities as well as trainings for employment.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program seeks to help lift households out of poverty by helping them develop micro-enterprises. (DSWD)