Midyear Conference Tackles Sustainability of Livelihood Programs
The DIDP Integrated Food Security Program – a program that supports the implementation of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act, a socio–economic activity implemented by the Davao Integrated Development Program and funded by Department of Agriculture, conducted a Midyear Conference On Livelihood Programs last July 21-22, 2011 at Camp Holiday Resort, Island Garden City of Samal. The IFSP components included the Upland Farming Model Village Project (UFMVP), Agro-Processing Promotion Project (APPP), Fisherfolks Livelihood Enhancement Project (FLEP) and Alternative Livelihood Development Project (ALDP). The activity was initiated by the DIDP Project Management Office and participated by 9 DIDP- member LGUs represented by their Project Coordinators. Focal persons from the DIDP Technical Advisory Group (e.g. DOST, DA, BFAR, and PCA) were also present.
The objectives of the said conference are: validation of project data, formulation of a uniform format for physical and financial reports, presentation of the project status, and discussion of various concerns and issues regarding project implementation. DIDP Asst. Executive Director Engr. Grace L. Magalona also announced the approved allocation budget given by DA for CY 2012 which amounts to Eighty Six Million and Six Hundred Eleven Thousand Pesos (P 86.611 M), news which was gladly received by the LGU participants. She encouraged the LGUs to perform well in implementing the project.
Issues on sustainability and implementation of the credit livelihood assistance program were raised during the conference. Mismanagement was the most common reason why some cooperatives or organizations failed on their project. People's organizations needs to be strengthened and enhanced. LGUs were urged to assist those beneficiaries not in good standing to reorganize their group. Appropriate corrective measures were suggested as follows: to come up with a uniform terms and conditions in extending credit programs among LGUs within Davao Region, have clear policies and guidelines on livelihood assistance from DIDP-PMO, have a strong political will, strengthen monitoring and supervision of the project, and, in case of failure to pay, demand letter will be issued or legal actions should be taken.
Despite the various issues, the LGU Project Coordinators strongly agreed that there should be continuity for the projects, because it is still the easiest way for marginalized communities to avail credit for their livelihood activities.
“Why not? We will be considering your recommendations” Engr. Magalona said. “As much as possible, the loan assistance program will be continued as long as there still available funds for it” she added. Currently, the LGUs are using the repayment funds to fund the replication of the projects.