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PIA Press Release

SEA–K program invests P76 million in Region I

By Freddie G. Lazaro

Vigan City (October 29) -- The regional head of the social welfare office has reported the P76 million investment fund by the national government during the 16 years implementation of the Self–Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA–K) Programs to the four provinces in Ilocos region.

Director Porfiria M. Bernardez of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office in Region One disclosed that the fund amounting to P76,043,134.94 had been used to finance a total of 867 successful pro–poor projects.

Started on 1990, the SEA–K Program was designed by the national government through the DSWD to lessen the poverty incidence nationwide.

“Under the program, we trained and organized the groups of poor families to manage and sustain small scale livelihood businesses,” Bernardez said in a press statement last Sunday.

“Among the small–scale community based businesses we assisted in the entire region were handicrafts, loom weaving, food processing, sari–sari store, “buy and sell” business and other potential income generating projects,” she added.

The program (SEA–K) has open many opportunities for clients to be directly involved from the identification of small projects to packaging and commercialization of products.

In the celebration of the recently concluded “National Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty” held at the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) in Vigan City,” Bernardez shared the success of the SEA-K programs with the support of the local government units (LGUs) and the present administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“The success of the 16 – year implementation of the program was complemented by the strong support of the LGUs because some of them also provided additional assistance to SEA–K clients in addition to the P125,000 seed capital loan assistance given to each group composed of 25 members,” she said.

The director acknowledged the integrity and willingness of the clients to pay back their loans as the “roll back” effect will enable other needy people to also access loans from the program.

According the Bernardez, the SEA–K program has gained appreciation from the different stakeholders and is being advocated by President Arroyo as one of the most successful nation’s flagship program on poverty alleviation.

The program is in line with the agenda of President Arroyo creating job opportunities nationwide. (PIA Ilocos) [top]

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