MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Friday it has earmarked P1 billion for sustainable livelihood programs as part of efforts to support displaced residents under the rehabilitation plan for war-ravaged Marawi City.
DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel Leyco said the P1-billion fund was from unused money out of the department's P7-billion budget for livelihood projects this year.
Leyco said since Maranaos are known to be merchants, the funds will be utilized for livelihood training as well as for distribution as initial capital to help Marawi residents set up new businesses.
“Ang challenge natin is how to bring back economic activity into the area,” he said of the city, formerly a bustling commercial capital.
As added support for Marawi residents, Leyco said conditions for subsidies under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), including attendance in schools by school-aged children, will be temporarily suspended starting this month until early next year.
This is as consideration for the failure of beneficiary families to fulfill the conditions as they had to evacuate because of the conflict.
“Para sa Marawi, sinuspend natin ang mga conditionalities hanggang March 2018,” Leyco said.
Meanwhile, Leyco said the DSWD is not expanding the conditional cash transfer program after a Commission on Audit report found irregularities, including the release of cash subsidies to unqualified beneficiaries.
“Hindi muna kami mage-expand until matapos ang eligibility setup namin,” Leyco said.
He said expansion may only happen on the second quarter of 2018 in areas where validation of 4Ps beneficiaries have been concluded.