GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 13 Aug) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 12 has released around P1.9-million worth of livelihood grants to three community and workers’ groups based in this city and nearby South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces.
Ofelia Domingo, DOLE Region 12 director, said Thursday the grants were released under the agency’s flagship DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP).
She said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz personally turned over the grants during the Third Quarterly Meeting of the Regional Tripartite Industry Peace Council and awarding ceremony for the Region 12 Productivity Olympics winners and Service Quality Seal recipients here last Monday.
The beneficiaries are the Rang-ay Association of Natural Farming for Innovative Agriculture (RANFIA) in Banga, South Cotabato; Sarangani Agricultural Co., Inc. Workers’ Union (SACIWU) based in Alabel, Sarangani; and Genpack Corporation Workers’ Association (GPCWA) in this city.
Domingo said RANFIA received a grant of P395,000 while SACIWU and GPCWA got P599,360 and P918,280, respectively.
“These grants will be used for the livelihood projects earlier proposed by the recipients and have passed our evaluation,” she said.
The official said RANFIA will use the awarded grant to upgrade its operations, especially for its banana chips production venture.
She said the group, which has 25 active members, will adopt a technology developed by the Department of Science and Technology.
Domingo said SACIWU will utilize the funds to expand the operations of its consumers’ store in Barangay Maribulan, Alabel town in Sarangani.
She said the union has a total of 284 member-beneficiaries who are all workers of the Alcantara Group’s Sarangani Agricultural Co., Inc.
The GPCWA will use its grant for the purchase of livelihood starter kits that will benefit the unemployed spouses of its 92 members, Domingo said.
She said the starter kits will be for ventures on handicraft-making, carinderia/eatery, fabric conditioner-making, and stove or kalan-making.
In a statement released by DOLE-12 on Thursday, Secretary Baldoz assured the beneficiaries during the turnover that the agency will provide them with necessary support and interventions to ensure the sustainability of their projects.
She said DOLE will continually monitor and evaluate the implementation of the projects and provide technical assistance, especially on business management, productivity and innovation, and occupational safety and health.
“The difference of our livelihood assistance programs with those of past administration is that we will monitor your progress and coordinate with our convergence partners,” she said.
DOLE’s convergence partners for the DILEEP are the Department of Trade and Industry for marketing and packaging; Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for skills training, certification, and assessment; and the local government units through the Department of Interior and Local Government for other further interventions.
“Our memorandum of agreement with these agencies on technology-based and resource-based sustainable livelihood will make it very easy for you to manage your projects. Please continue to work and cooperate with our regional office. I want you to be models in sustainable livelihood development in this region,” Baldoz added.