The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) forged a partnership with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) to uplift the condition of cooperatives and their members through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista and CDA Chairperson Undersecretary Joseph Encabo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project entitled, “CDA – DSWD Partnership for the Upliftment of the Quality of Life of the Cooperatives and their Members through the Sustainable Livelihood Program” on December 15.
The SLP is one of the specialized programs of the DSWD that provides community-based capability-building programs for the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized households and communities to help improve their socio-economic conditions by accessing and acquiring necessary assets to engage in and maintain thriving livelihoods.
The partnership will prioritize SLP Associations (SLPAs), cooperatives, and their members by considering them as conduits and recipients of relevant programs and services of both agencies.
Likewise, the partnership will facilitate the registration of SLPAs as legitimate cooperatives. This will enable SLPAs to receive benefits such as tax exemptions under the Cooperative Code and prioritization as service providers in government feeding programs such as the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP).
In his message, Secretary Bautista said that the collaboration between the two agencies is a significant milestone since the DSWD and the CDA will be able to provide cooperatives with technical assistance and other necessary resources to sustain their livelihood amid the pandemic.
“Rest assured that the Department will be proactive in helping the qualified beneficiaries of this joint project, especially those greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the provision of livelihood interventions under the SLP,” the Secretary said.
Aside from Secretary Bautista and Undersecretary Encabo, the event was also attended by DSWD Assistant Secretary Rhea B. Peñaflor, CDA Board Member Assistant Secretary Abdusalam A. Guinomla, CDA Deputy Administrator Ray R. Elevazo, and SLP National Program Manager Janet P. Armas.
The Department is optimistic that through the partnership with CDA, more cooperative groups will be able to have adequate resources and skills to develop their livelihoods.