In Central Luzon, DOLE releases P450-K to two rural workers' associations at DOLE-DOST convergence program launch; 362 marginalized workers, mostly women, to benefit

Date Posted: June 16th, 2014 02:51 AM

In far flung Brgy. Bayabas, Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan, 292 members, mostly marginalized and home-based women, of the Kooperatiba ng Pangmalawakang Paglilingkod ng Bayabas, Ink., KPPBI for short, will shortly go full-blast in the production of squash (Kalabasa) puree after the cooperative received last week P250,000 in financial grant under the DOLE-DOST Convergence Program on Technology-driven, Resource-based, and Sustainable Livelihood.

In the adjacent province of Pampanga, in Pulong Camias, Brgy. San Jose, San Simon, the 70-member strong Augman Kababaihan ng San Simon, Inc. (AKSSI) will light up the community with its receipt of P250,000 in financial grant under the same program for its candle-making business.

"These are all existing community-based enterprises that need our assistance to get their livelihood going a bit faster," said DOLE Regional Office No. 3 Director Raymundo Agravante as he, together with DOLE Bulacan Field Office Ma. Rima Hernandez and DOLE Pampanga Field Office Head Arlene Tolentino, handed out the checks to the officials of the two rural workers' association during the launch of the program in San Fernando, Pampanga.

"Aside from the DOLE, the DOST and other line agencies provided counterpart assistance to the two community livelihoods in the form of skills training, entrepreneurship development training, and other capability-building activities," he added.

Agravante reported the launching to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, who commended the regional office for starting in earnest the release of funds to beneficiaries in the region.

“Our goal is to strengthen social protection for vulnerable workers, and we seek to attain this through the strategy of enhancing access to emergency employment and livelihood," said Baldoz.

"Through convergence, the DOLE facilitates and provides access to livelihood opportunities to shield vulnerable workers and their families from risks due to natural and man-made disasters and enable them to rebuild their lives with better access to social protection and sustainable income sources," she said.

Secretary Baldoz and DOST Secretary Mario Montejo signed in January this year the DOLE-DOST Convergence on Technology-Driven, Resource-Based, and Sustainable Livelihood aimed at addressing the need for sustainable livelihood and employment opportunities through technology-based and innovation-led entrepreneurship in the country.

Under the agreement, the DOLE and DOST, with support of the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, and other partners work together in a convergence program designed to assist local workers, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and victims of natural calamities in their livelihood undertakings.

“Sing-sarap ng kalabasa at sing-liwanag ng kandila. Iyan po ang handog ng DOLE, kasama ang DOST at iba pang mga ahensiya ng gobyerno. Sana po, pagyamanin natin ito upang lalong lumago ang inyong mga proyekto upang maingat ang antas ng inyong pamumuhay,” Agravante said.

A tearful Nelia Bais, AKKSI President, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked the DOLE for the much-needed assistance.

 

“Nagpapasalamat po kami nang marami dahil nandito po ang DOLE at ibang pang mga ahensya ng gobyerno upang kami’y tulungang umunlad at magkaroon ng kakayahang itaguyod ang aming mga pamilya sa pamamagitan ng tulong pangkabuhayan na ipinagkaloob po ninyo sa amin. Asahan po ninyo na gagawin namin ang lahat upang mapalago namin ito,” Bais said.

Meanwhile, KPPBI President Albert Velasquez assured that they will be good stewards of the DOLE-DOST Convergence Program.

“Ito po ang simula ng pagkakaroon ng livelihood program na panghabambuhay dito sa amin. Lahat po ng mga magsasaka at residente ng Brgy. Bayabas ay makikinabang sa proyektong ito. Makaka-asa po kayo na kami’y magtutulong-tulong upang pagyamanin ito,” Velasquez said.

Aside from Bulacan and Pampanga, the DOLE regional office, in coordination with the Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs), will also be launching the convergence program for identified groups/beneficiaries in Brgy. Matawe, Dingalan, Aurora; Tala, Orani, Bataan; Brgy.Cuyapa, Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija; Lapaz, Tarlac; and Tubo-Tubo North and South, Sta. Cruz,Zambales.

END

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