LINGAYEN--- Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. awarded loan checks worth P218,000 under the Livelihood Assistance Program of the Provincial Government last June 16 at the Governor’s Office inside the Capitol Building.
The recipients of the second batch of the assistance program for this year were Don Montano Garments Craft Association, Inc. from Umingan and the Payar Women’s Association from Malasiqui, both involved in commodity trading.
The program, launched in 2008 during the first term of Gov. Espino, has benefitted 84 groups composed of 1,774 beneficiaries and 8 individuals belonging to Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs and has released a total of P10,008,150 as assistance.
According to Ellsworth Gonzales, Livelihood Assistance Program Head of the Provincial Population Office, the goal of the program is to give assistance, like loans, as a start-up capital for small businesses to uplift their lives.
This augmentation measure will in turn generate additional income and employment that will give the beneficiaries additional purchasing power for better access to basic commodities like food, clothing and shelter and education.
Gonzales also added that they are usually targeting women’s groups to translate their idle time into something productive. Farmers are also prioritized so they could avail of loans with lower interest rate instead of going to loan sharks.
Beneficiaries are given a four percent interest for a six-month loan cycle, and if paid before the due date, interest is reduced to one percent. The three percent rebate will then become income of the association.
The program also caters to those involved in retailing, production (i.e. sawali and garments production), trading and animal raising (poultry). However, they must be a registered association.
Clarita Alcantara of Don Montano Garments Craft, involved in the manufacturing of throw pillows, curtains, shorts and pajamas, said that the program is a big help for them, especially that they are just starting their business. “Napakalaking tulong sa aming pamilya, lalo na sa aming walang regular na trabaho ang puhunang ito. Kaya ipapakita namin na talagang napapakinabangan at maraming natutulungan ito,” she added. (PIO/Rafael Manuel and Darwin Magalong)