The Department of Social Welfare and Development said it has already released P138.15 million in livelihood assistance grant (LAG) to 13,647 beneficiaries in Western Visayas, including P20 million to 2,900 recipients in Negros Occidental, as of March this year.
Mary Ann Masculino, DSWD regional program coordinator for the Sustainable Livelihood Program, said Thursday that the LAG was developed when the Bayanihan Act I was enacted and is one of the social amelioration program interventions of the department.
Under the program, those coming from the informal sector with existing enterprises before the health pandemic hit received financial assistance to help them come up with an alternative project, or use it to augment their capital.
Its implementation is being coordinated with local government units because the recipients are also beneficiaries of SAP.
Each recipient can receive up to a maximum of P15,000 in grant depending on the project and assessment of the livelihood technical working group of the LGU.
DSWD data showed that 1,067 beneficiaries in Aklan have availed of the program with P16 million funds already disbursed in March.
Also, P57 million has been disbursed to 3,955 beneficiaries in Antique, P810,000 for 67 recipients in Guimaras, and P44.34 million for 5,658 in Iloilo.
The funds were from the repurposed regular fund of the DSWD last year and the Bayanihan Act I.
Masculino said that since the LAG is an outright grant, the recipients have no obligation to pay it back to the DSWD. But they are expected to liquidate the money that they receive after 40 days, to make sure that their grant utilization plan was followed.
She added that they are also preparing for the second batch of the program this year, targeting 11,226 families.*PNA