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PIA Press Release

SEA-K grants loans to 3 Cordillera organizations

by Juliet B. Saley

Bontoc, Mt. Province (26 June) -- More associations here are provided with livelihood assistance by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran or SEA-K Level I and SEA-K Level II or SEA Kabayan.

According to Ms. Erlinda Likigan, Project Evaluation Officer of DSWD Mt. Province, there are 57 associations benefiting from SEA Kaunlaran or SEA-K Level I and three associations in SEA-K Level II. Individual beneficiaries invested in livelihood projects like vegetable gardening, hog raising, vending, weaving, wine making, sari-sari store, buy and sell. There are also three SEA-K Level I Associations who are operating Tindahan Natin Outlets.

Likigan said there are three organizations who qualified for the SEA-K Level II (SEA-Kabayan), the Geb-an Kabayan of Bila Bauko, who was granted a loan of P1,645,00.00, the Sabangan Kabayan who was granted a loan of P715,000.00. The latest is the OB-OBBO composed of Bila and Otucan SEA-K Associations who was just granted a loan of P1,450,000 which was received by Bauko Mayor Simon Lacwasan last June 12 in Baguio City.

This project is a capability building program which aims to enhance the socio-economic skills of poor families through the organization of community-based associations for entrepreneurial development.

It has two components, the SEA-K Level I (SEA Kaunlaran) and the SEA-K Level II (SEA Kabayan). SEA-K Level I association members composed of 25-30 per association are trained in business management and livelihood skills and provided non-collateral, interest-free capital assistance of P5,000.00 per person to be paid back in two years. Repayment, or amortization is done weekly through the SEA-K association. Micro-enterprises at this level are trade and commerce, buying and selling, vegetable farming, fishing and fish culture, food processing, sewing craft and handicraft.

Level II or SEA Kabayan is an expansion of Level I. Two or three SEA-K Level associations whose members have fully paid their loans are eligible to form SEA-K Level II association for livelihood and housing. They can apply for a bigger loan for expansion of their livelihood projects, home improvement and shelter construction. The loan is payable within three years.

Not just anybody can get a loan under this program. The agency has set standard eligibility requirements and prospective beneficiaries are assessed along the given criteria.

The criteria are: income of not more than P6,958 per month for a family of six; non-accessibility to formal credit services; physical eligibility; psycho-social eligibility.

A beneficiary should also have a positive work attitude and enjoy a good reputation in the community where he should have been living for at least six months.

The program also include the disadvantaged individuals and families of depressed communities. (PIA MP) [top]

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