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People and Places

DSWD’s livelihood program makes beneficiary’s dream business come true

Jonathan Nares
Program beneficiary Jonathan Nares prints on a T-shirt to try out the new equipment that he was able to purchase through the livelihood assistance provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Sustainable Livelihood Program.

For three years, Jonathan Nares of Barangay Oya-Oy, Bacnotan, La Union worked in a printing shop in Baguio City. He dreamt of having his own shop, but financial limitations prevented Jonathan from immediately setting up one.

After his contract with his employer expired, Jonathan decided this is the best time to start fulfilling his dream. He sold his motorcycle to rent a space for a small printing business which he called PrintNation Digital Printing.

Jonathan used his meager earnings from his printing shop to support his family.

“Pa-sideline-sideline lang kami noon at nagpapatakbo ng maliit na negosyo sa Barangay Bacsil in Bacnotan, La Union. Ang meron lang kami ay sublimation machine, machine cutter, at second hand na desktop (computer). Saktuhan lang ang aming kita noon at hindi pa namin mabili ang gusto,” Jonathan recalled.

(Before, we were just side hustling and running a small business in Brgy. Bacsil, Bacnotan, La Union. All we had were sublimation machine, machine cutter, and a second-hand desktop. Our income was just enough to buy our essential needs.)

In 2022, Jonathan became a qualified beneficiary of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), one of the big-ticket programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

SLP is a capacity-building program which provides opportunities to vulnerable, marginalized, and disadvantaged individuals, families, and communities to enhance their livelihood assets and capacity to utilize their resources more productively.

The program’s beneficiaries are given the option to register in either the Microenterprise Development (MD) track or the Employment Facilitation (EF) track after participating in social preparation and capacity-building activities.

The MD track provides participants with an overview of the components in starting-up micro-enterprises, while the EF track assists beneficiaries to access appropriate employment opportunities.

Jonathan opted for the MD Track to improve his small business. Under this track, Jonathan received Php10,000 worth of grant as seed capital for his budding business venture.

Jonathan used the capital assistance to buy a new equipment and added T-shirt printing service to his array of printing services.

Aside from the capital assistance, the program also provided Jonathan with skills training on how to expand his market, improve his services, and potentially grow his business.

In just eight months, Jonathan was able to purchase another equipment because of his diligence in running his enterprise under the guidance of SLP project development officers.

Jonathan bought an Eco-Solvent printer for signage, vehicle graphics, and stickers. He was also able to hire personnel to help out in the operations of his shop.

“Maraming salamat sa SLP, kung noon hindi kami nakakabili ng mga gusto namin, ngayon nabibili na namin ang mga ito. Mas gumanda ang buhay na ngayong nagnenegosyo na kami dahil hawak namin ang aming oras at nakakapundar pa kami,” Jonathan pointed out.

(Thank you SLP, before we could not buy our wants, but we can now buy them. With this modest business, life is better since we are in control of our schedule and we can even have investments.)

In 2022, SLP was able to provide financial assistance to 240,668 households.

For the first quarter of 2023, some 597 households have already benefited from the program.

The DSWD remains committed to capacitate and assist all Filipinos to acquire sustainable means of livelihood to support their families.

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