THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is seeking P55.45million worth of funding for livelihood projects from Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB) in the Eastern Visayas.

In a statement, the department said it has identified 102 potential micro-enterprise proposals which will benefit 2,218 beneficiaries, small-holder farmers, and farmworkers in the six provinces of the region. This program will be administered by the Convergence on Livelihood Assistance for ARBs Project (CLAAP).

DAR Regional Director Sheila B. Enciso said that the funds will be sourced from the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), with P1 billion allocated CLAAP.

The proposed businesses include hog raising, broiler and layer poultry production, fertilizer and pesticide trading, and rice trading. Each beneficiary will be given seed capital of P15,000 to start a micro-business based on the submitted proposal, while P10,000 will be distributed for capacity development training of recipients.

In early 2018, the two departments partnered to provide livelihood assistance to ARBs through ARB organizations (ARBO) by clustering them with selected beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the DSWD.

DAR noted that of 2,218 who showed interest in such assistance, 1,371 ARBO members and 4Ps recipients from 63 clusters are from Leyte; 248 ARBO members and eight clusters of 4Ps recipients are from Biliran; 135 ARBO members and eight clusters of 4Ps beneficiaries are from Southern Leyte; 139 ARBO members and seven clusters of 4Ps recipients are from Eastern Samar; 195 ARBO members and 10 clusters of 4Ps recipients are from Northern Samar; and 130 ARBO members and six clusters of 4Ps beneficiaries are from Western Samar. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang