The Department of Labor and Employment in Region 6, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and Stitching BRAC International as the technical assistance provider, culminated the successful Ultra Poor Graduation (UPG) project in Negros Occidental.
Themed “Grants to Graduation-Testing a New Approach to Poverty Reduction in the Philippines”, the pilot interventions launched in July 2018 included the provision of DOLE’s Kabuhayan starter kits, consisting of a one-time asset transfer, training in business planning, management and accounting, handling social health issues, and establishing linkages to community groups and cooperatives, a press release from DOLE said yesterday.
“The livelihood assistance provided by DOLE was complemented with trainings by our partner BRAC, to equip the beneficiaries with capabilities in handling the challenges of their endeavors and to change their outlook in managing finances and their income,” DOLE 6 regional director Cyril Ticao said.
The DOLE’s initial grant, amounting to P4,543,606, was utilized for the traditional vegetable farming, swine fattening, meat processing, “negosyo sa kariton”, and salted egg processing projects of 207 beneficiaries in the municipalities of Murcia and E.B. Magalona, and the cities of Talisay, Silay, and Victorias.
In 2019, the DOLE released P7,093,800 for the carabao for draft, egg layer production, swine fattening, meat processing, and negosyo sa kariton livelihood projects of 468 new beneficiaries, also in the third district of Negros Occidental, the press release said.
BRAC’s monitoring report from November 2019 to January 2020 showed that those who have fried chicken food carts have the highest average profit per hour among the beneficiaries. It was followed by salted egg producers, fried snacks food cart vendors, and those on meat processing and swine fattening projects.
The beneficiaries have also changed their mindset and improved their capacity in saving their earnings. BRAC’s report in December 2019 revealed that about 70 percent of the 966 beneficiaries surveyed were able to generate savings, as compared to the 61 percent in June that same year. Forty-three percent of them accessed financial institutions for their savings, while 27 percent opted to keep their savings at home.
“This is already a success for us, knowing that beneficiaries have the capacity to sustain the livelihood projects provided to them, and be able to generate savings at the same time,” DOLE Negros Occidental head Mary Agnes Capigon said.
BRAC measured the beneficiaries’ success rate based on consistency on food security, stability of income, maintenance of good health, and resiliency amidst poverty.
“We hope that the beneficiaries will not just be able to sustain these projects, but will also diversify the same in the future,” Capigon added.*