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PIA Press Release

Kalinga livelihood program needs accreditation of beneficiaries

by L. Lopez

Tabuk, Kalinga (28 February) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial office, which was tasked to draft the program structure of the Provincial Livelihood Program of the Office of the Congressman pushes for the accreditation of beneficiaries.

Noryn Bagano of DTI-Kalinga explained there is a need to accredit beneficiaries to install safeguards that would ensure sustainability of the program. This is a way of screening qualified beneficiaries to avoid overnight applicants who may take advantage of the benefits that may result to failure of the project.

In her presentation of the program structure, Bagano cited the proposal to award the funding assistance under the program as soft-loans, instead of pure grants to encourage recipients to protect their own livelihood projects.

All funds to be distributed as livelihood assistance shall be covered by the regular government accounting rules and procedures, she added.

Bagano said DTI will give business development services to project owners before funds are awarded to make them capable of managing and sustaining their projects.

There is a need to prepare project owners by giving them capability building and inculcate in them that this venture is not a "dole-out" from government, she said.

A Fund Management Board shall be formed through the appointments of the congressman, which will do the functions of accrediting conduits, set credit lines, evaluate loan applications and monitor projects.

Under the program credit guideline, loans could range from P100,000 to P3M based on portfolio evaluation. Borrowers are charged interest rate of not more than 10% per annum and given 1 year to pay.

Funds for loans are given to organized groups as program conduits, not directly to end borrowers.

While we provide seed capital for our people to start earning for a living, if we do not equip and teach them how to go about it, chances are that this form of assistance would just go down the drain, Bagano said.

Kalinga Congressman Manuel Agyao launched last December 21, 2008 his Provincial Livelihood Program aimed to develop viable and sustainable livelihood activities to poor sectors in the province, through the participation of concerned government agencies. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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