A total of 735 registered indigenous peoples (IP) in Trento, Agusan del Sur availed of the cash-for-work livelihood project through the Support Services and Interventions (SSI).

SSI is a unique feature of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) modality of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) which is designed to uplift the socio- economic status of the beneficiaries.

It aims to strengthen their participation in the identification of appropriate services based on their needs and maximize their contributions to their development process by involving them directly in community endeavors like protection and preservation of natural resources. The services include cash-for-work, micro- enterprise/livelihood assistance, income-generating projects, feeding program, family camps, and other interventions.

An MCCT-IP beneficiary builds a bamboo fence to protect the vegetable and plants.

Sauna, kaming mga IPs maglisod gayud sa paglambo tungod sa diskriminasyon, resulta sa sinaunang inhustisya, ug ubos nga ekonomiya (Before, the IPs often face difficulties in accessing social protection benefits as a result of discrimination, aftereffect to historic injustices, and economic disadvantages), Adeliada Abuso, MCCT parent leader, recalled.

Through the bayanihan spirit, the tribe members decided to put up a communal garden through a gulayan sa paaralan, because its promotes the protection and maintenance of the ecosystem balance, and encourages all the beneficiaries to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

The cash-for-work intervention also provides opportunities to the beneficiaries to spend cash on their prioritized needs to cater their immediate necessities. Their communal garden project requires 10-30 working days to complete, and they are given Php229 a day for their labor.

This cash-for-work has aided them during this time of pandemic because productivity in their community has really been affected. The opportunity has given them strength to fight the effects of the pandemic, and has given them hope. The livelihood project has since been successful every day because they are now invigorated to work.

The IP community of Trento doing their gulayan sa paaralan as cash-for-work intervention.

As Adeliada graciously noted, “Wala’y bisan unsa diri sa kalibutan ang dali kab-uton kondili pinaagi sa paningkamot, kasakit, ug kalisod. Dili gayud nato mabulag ang kalisod sa mabungahon nga resulta, kay mao kana ang paagi aron kita mutubo ug makakat-on, pinaagi sa pagsulay (Nothing in this world is easy to attain/achieve, unless you put in a lot of effort, go through pain, and face difficulties. We can never separate the difficulties we go through from our successes, that is how we grow and learn – through challenges).”

Now, the Trento IP community have a strong desire to really change their lives, appreciate every single success, embrace the opportunities going their way, and work hard to achieve success and ensure brighter days ahead. ###(Social Marketing Section/DSWD Field Office Caraga)

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