GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 31 March) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 12 released around P3.44-million worth of livelihood packages on Monday to some 528 informal workers in South Cotabato province.
Ofelia Domingo, DOLE Region 12 director, said the livelihood packages were part of the agency’s continuing interventions to help uplift the conditions of poor informal workers within the region’s four provinces and five cities.
She said the initiative, which involved the distribution of 528 starter kits for various small business ventures, is a component of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).
The starter kits were formally released to the beneficiaries on Monday morning in a ceremony held at the Hernandez Farm in Koronadal City.
The release of the livelihood packages was made in partnership with the office of South Cotabato (2nd District) Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez.
It was also supported by the local government units of Koronadal City and the municipalities of Surallah, Tantangan, Norala and Sto. Niño.
“These are packages composed of basic raw materials and other inputs that are necessary to help the beneficiaries start with their businesses,” Domingo said.
The starter kits specifically comprised 320 packages for carenderia or eatery ventures; 61 for carpentry and handcraft; 44 for beauty parlors; 19 for steel fabrication; 14 for barbeque vending; 10 for food processing; six for dried fish vending; four for ice cream vending; three for bakery; two each for hollow block production and talipapa; and 43 for other individual projects.
The official said these packages will enable the beneficiaries to eventually increase their income and provide more support for their families.
As part of the program, she said they provided trainings on various production skills, entrepreneurship and business management to the beneficiaries.
For this year, DOLE-12 has started to cover a total of 8,644 informal workers for the DILP and 2,240 others for their emergency employment assistance program.
Domingo said they have set a series of massive advocacy activities to draw more awareness and support for the program from their partners and other local stakeholders.
“These interventions are all aimed to help ease the poverty incidence and unemployment rate in the region,” she added.