Labor department to give livelihood packages to 20 recipients

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 May) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to release entrepreneurial packages to 20 aspiring small entrepreneurs and a transport group in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region through its flagship integrated livelihood program.

Yahya Centi, DOLE 12 assistant regional director, said the assistance is part of the agency’s continuing livelihood interventions for the informal sector and rural workers in the region who have potentials of becoming successful entrepreneurs.

Under the program, he said they approved the granting of 18 Kabuhayan or livelihood starter kits and two Nego-Kart packages to 20 beneficiaries from Malapatan town in Sarangani province.

Centi said they also approved a financial grant worth P221,105 for the proposed motorcycle repair, vulcanizing, welding and retail of motorcycle parts shop of the Unified Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) based in Koronadal City.

The official said the 20 livelihood packages were among the proposals earlier endorsed for approval and release by DOLE-Sarangani, General Santos field office to DOLE 12’s regional project monitoring board.

The 18 Kabuhayan starter kits comprised materials, equipment and initial capitalization for fried banana-cue selling, balut vending, dressmaking, tinagtag making, waffle making, t-shirt printing, mini carinderia or eatery as well as manicure and pedicure servicing, he said.

He said beneficiaries Samsodin Karim and Leomel Rasonable will be receiving a kwek-kwek-juice and fishball, fried peanut and juice Nego-Karts or cart packages, respectively.

Centi said that as part of DOLE’s integrated livelihood program, the beneficiaries will receive skills trainings and other related seminars prior to the release of the assistance packages.

“We always emphasize to the beneficiaries that they must work hard in order to make their respective livelihood projects prosper. They should take care of what little assistance was given them and not waste time in improving their situation,” he said.

On the other hand, Centi said the financial grant for UTODA, which has 57 members, was endorsed by the project board based on recommendations from the Koronadal City Public Employment Services Office and DOLE South Cotabato field office.

The project’s funding will be sourced from the agency’s Rural Employment through Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship Development (PRESEED) program, he said.

Based on UTODA’s project proposal, Centi said the project’s start-up cost was set at P305,868 but the group will shoulder 27 percent of the capitalization as counterpart.

“The project was found to be very feasible and viable considering that it is complementary to the major livelihood activities of the organization,” he said in a statement.

Centi said the agency’s project monitoring team initially asked the UTODA management to identify cheap sources of spare parts but stressed that their quality should not be compromised in the process.

He said the group should also establish networks with merchandisers of motorcycle spare parts so they could avail of discounts and other incentives that would provide competitive commercial advantage to their operation.

The project monitoring team recommended that UTODA members should patronize the services and spare parts venture of the organization, he said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)