The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) Philippines entered into a partnership agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that aims to enhance the capabilities of poor families in five municipalities in Leyte province.
In a simple ceremony in Palo, Leyte, last May 31, DSWD and SSVP signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) designed to link Yolanda-stricken families to business development service providers, local markets, and micro-enterprises opportunities.
The agreement was signed between DSWD Field Office VIII and SSVP who were represented by its regional director Grace Subong and its national president Maria Carla Salandanan-Maglalang, respectively.
“We are excited with this new partnership with DSWD which we hope would empower, enable, and ennoble poor families affected by typhoon Yolanda to create opportunities for themselves and improve their lots,” Salandanan-Maglalang said.
“This new initiative brings hope to those families affected by typhoon Yolanda so that they can rebuild their lives and attain their dreams. It is not just teaching them how to fish but also providing them access to resources so that they can improve their lives,” she added.
The signing ceremony was attended by DSWD ARD for Administration Clarito Logronio, Regional Program Coordinator of DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Erwin Sonio, SLP Government Sector Partnership Officer Maria Christina Manicani, SLP Private Sector Partnership Officer Lenette Penalosa, DSWD ARD for Operations Natividad Sequito, and Raulito Reyes, member of the Governance of the Switzerland-based Foundation/GIB Switzerland SuRe Standard Stakeholder.
Also witnessing the ceremony were SSVP Program Coordinator Froilan Maglaya, and partner-representatives of Department of Budget and Management, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Landbank of the Philippines, Baybay Dairy Cooperative, and Samar Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
Under the MOA, both DSWD and SSVP shall undertake capacity-building activities on how to manage livelihood projects to include but not limit to agriculture, livestock, natural resource management and economic development.
They shall also assist in building capacity of selected beneficiaries for all their income generating activity (IGA), formation of savings groups through financial literacy, management and entrepreneurship technical assistance, among others.
Targeted beneficiaries include families below poverty threshold and those under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the towns of Basey, Samar; Palompon, Leyte; Tanauan, Leyte; St. Bernard, So. Leyte; and Sogod, So. Leyte.
As a Catholic lay organization, SSVP is duly registered and licensed to operate as auxiliary social welfare development agency aimed to provide socio-economic, psychosocial and spiritual formation to selected beneficiaries of its “Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives” program launched in 2013.
SSVP was founded by Blessed Frederic Ozanam and is under the guidance of the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers. It has established its presence in the Philippines since 1860, and has continued to provide assistance and scholarship to poor families, especially those displaced by calamities and other natural disasters.