DOLE-12 releases P8M in livelihood assistance to informal workers

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/8 April) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 12 has released a total of P8 million worth of livelihood packages in the last three months to informal workers in South Cotabato province and the neighboring areas.

Ofelia Domingo, DOLE Region 12 director, said Tuesday the livelihood packages, which comprised business starter kits, were part of the agency’s initial allocation for the area this year under its flagship DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program.

She said they released last week around P3.44 million worth of starter kits to 528 beneficiaries coming from various parts of South Cotabato.

The agency also released some P800,000 worth of livelihood packages to displaced workers of a tuna processing firm here, she said.

Domingo said the other packages were distributed to selected members of the informal sector in various parts of Region 12, which comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

DOLE-12 earlier identified 8,644 informal workers as beneficiaries of the DILP and 2,240 others for their emergency employment assistance program for this year.

“We’re currently processing the release late next month or early June of around 300 more starter kits,” the official said in a radio interview.

DILP, which is one of the DOLE’s program enrolled under the government’s community-based employment program (CBEP), mainly aims to generate sustainable local enterprises as well as improve the productivity and livelihood of informal workers in local communities.

Under the program, prospective beneficiaries may avail of livelihood starter kits or packages from DOLE for various micro business ventures.

The packages comprise raw materials, equipment and initial capital that would allow beneficiaries to start a business venture.

Domingo said residents in the informal sector may avail of the livelihood packages by submitting a proposal to the agency.

She said they would then evaluate the proposals and eventually subject the qualified beneficiaries to trainings on various skills, business planning, decision making, project development and management.

“We don’t just give out the packages but we make sure that they are fit or appropriate for the concerned beneficiary,” she said.

The official said such move would ensure that the chosen ventures of the beneficiaries would later grow or expand and sustained on a long-term basis. (MindaNews)