Butuan City – A total of 960 drivers from the transport sector in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte received livelihood assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga, through the Sustainable Livelihood Program, on June 4, 2021.
These beneficiaries received either an amount of Php 5,000 or Php 10,000 depending on the livelihood project they proposed. Some of the livelihood projects proposed by the driver-beneficiaries are sari-sari stores, hog-fattening projects, fruit and vegetable retailing, vulcanizing shops, and street food vending.
The distribution of livelihood assistance grants has been made possible through the partnership of the DSWD-SLP, 1st District Representative Lawrence Fortun, and the Local Government Unit of Butuan City. Selection of eligible beneficiaries has also been done through the efforts of the Butuan City Social Welfare and Development Office.
Felesimo Cabel, a multicab driver from Barangay Ampayon, said that he is very thankful for the livelihood assistance extended to him and to his fellow drivers. He said that the hardship they had to experience during the peak of last year’s community quarantine was terrible and unimaginable.
“Kami nagpasalamat nga kami nahimo nga beneficiary niining programa nga Livelihood Assistance Grant. Kami mga tanang drivers mapasalamaton kay na-prioritize kami ani nga programa. Pangandoy namo tanan nga unta mapalambo namo ang among madawat nga assistance gikan sa DSWD ug sa opisina ni Congressman Fortun (We are thankful that we were chosen as beneficiaries of the Livelihood Assistance Grant. All drivers are grateful because we have been prioritized for this program. It’s our aspiration that we’ll be able to expand this assistance from DSWD and the office of Congressman Fortun),” Cabel expressed.
During the release of funds, OIC-Regional Director Ramel Jamen also reminded the beneficiaries to never stop working diligently as soon as they start with their chosen livelihoods.
“Walay direkta nga nilambo nga livelihood. Kinahanglan nato timan-an nga dili shortcut ang kinabuhi ug dili kita direkta mudato. Hinaguan nato ni. Mao kami naghinaot sa inyong pagpaningkamot sa pag-manage sa inyong mga livelihood (No livelihood flourished instantly. We need to remember that in life, there are no shortcuts to becoming rich. It is through our hard work that we are able to have progress. Hence, we are hoping that you will strive in managing your livelihoods),” Jamen said.
Thirty days after the beneficiaries have received the assistance, the DSWD-SLP and CSWDO Butuan staff will conduct grant utilization monitoring to ensure that the recipients were able to use the grants properly.
The LAG beneficiaries in Butuan City are composed of multicab, van, and mini-bus drivers. They were prioritized by LGU Butuan as they were deemed to be the most affected sector during the declaration of the community quarantine last 2020.