SABANGAN, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE- Families whose livelihood and or living conditions were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Cordillera Administrative Region are returning to their home provinces as the DSWD Field Office CAR provided them with assistance in the transition, livelihood, and housing to aid them as they start the new chapter of their lives in their respective community.
The Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (KKB) aims to provide opportunities for families from urban areas who decided to move back to their home in rural areas permanently. The agency will provide material support, capacity building, and psycho-social intervention to support families from the cities resettle in their new communities.
The program originated from the Executive Order No. 114 where the DSWD is one among the government agencies to provide assistance to the families whose living conditions were affected by the pandemic. This is DSWD’s contribution addressing the rising trends in urban migration and decongest key metropolitan cities.
Under the BP2, families received a Transitory Family Support Package (TSFP) amounting to PHP 10,000 to PHP 70,000 which seeks to cover the basic needs of the beneficiaries including the food and non-food items needed while the family is in transition phase.
The families are further assessed if in need of livelihood assistance, an additional Livelihood Settlement Grant (LSP) not exceeding PHP 50,000 is provided per family. The grant is a start-up financial assistance to directly provide each eligible recipient family in the establishment or continuity of their livelihoods or economic activities in the communities where they will return.
The cost of assistance for each family varies depending on their needs as assessed by the DSWD registered social workers considering the conditions of their new home and the number of the family members.
In addition, the Transitory Shelter Assistance (TSA) seeks to provide cash assistance not exceeding PHP 120,000 for the families to buy materials for the construction of their houses.
Families from Mt. Province who are the recent recipients of the TSA of the BP2 signify that with the help of the assistance from the agency, support from their relatives and community, they will be able to build their homes and start the new chapter of their lives together with their families in the rural community.
Sarah Lagmay from Barangay Camatagan has been previously working as a bakery staff at the Baguio City Public Market. After her father convinced her to go back home to be with her family and with the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to go back to their home in Mt. Province.
Back in their hometown in Sabangan, she is currently working as a canteen staff and doing house to house selling of bread. She thanked the agency for the assistance they received.
“Dakkel iyaman, dakkel maitulong kanyami sin pagrurugi mi (We are very grateful to your support; this is a big help for us to start again),” Sarah said.
Marissa Cammas also from Sabangan, Mt. Province expressed her gratitude for the assistance she received from the agency.
For three years, she has been working as a vegetable retailer in the City of Baguio however, because of the pandemic she also decided to go back home together with her family. At present they are into snack vending and vegetable farming.
Municipal Social Welfare and Development Coordinator Brigida Mangay-at highlighted the strong partnership of the Local Government Unit and the Field Office-CAR in serving the communities of the town. She also recognized the efforts and support of the agency.
As of 25 September, the BP2 of the Field Office has recorded PHP 13,858,550 provided assistance for the year 2023. Breakdown of the assistance include: PHP 3,623,550 for the TFSP, PHP 6,485,000 for the LSG and PHP 3,750,000 for the TSA. Since the start of the BP2 program in 2021, a total of 358 families has been served in the Cordillera region. # DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Lauren A. Alimondo