LEGAZPI CITY, March 23 (PNA) —- Six villages and 333 villagers in Albay and Camarines Norte have benefited from a total of PHp2.1-million livelihood packages given over a one-week period by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said an officer of DOLE-Bicol.
The distribution of the livelihood packages, which were given from late February to early March, were part of the labor department’s Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program or DILEEP, which seeks to provide an alternative livelihood to identified beneficiaries and ease poverty in the communities, said Raymond Escalante, DOLE-Bicol’s public information officer.
“We are not only giving away free stuff but what we are giving here, really, is the hope for a new life and new beginnings,” DOLE Bicol Director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, said.
In Camarines Norte, five barangays (village) in Labo town received P1.5-million worth of livelihood package consisting of small hand tools, materials and equipment for 239 beneficiaries.
DOLE Camarines Norte Provincial Head Jane L. Rolda had reported that the beneficiaries were “very happy” with their new livelihood with some who “even shed tears of joy.”
She said the distribution was done in each of the five barangays in late February.
“The livelihood grant was distributed as follows: Barangay Macogon-70 beneficiaries with a budget of PHp465,927.43; Barangay Bagacay-46 beneficiaries with PHp313,644.19; Barangay Bautista-59 with PHp397,348.32; Barangay Pangpang-25 with PHp101,073.08 and Barangay Pag-Asa-39 with PHp270,013.57,” reported Rolda.
She said the package distribution was identified based on the skills of the beneficiaries and included start-up materials for food preparation, carpentry, welding, vulcanizing, appliance repair, dressmaking, tailoring, bag making, cosmetology, electronics servicing, automotive servicing, car wash, haircut servicing and beauty care.
Trayvilla said in 2016, 12 barangays in Labo town took interest in DOLE’s livelihood program to help their disadvantaged but skilled constituents rise from poverty.
She said DOLE has so far granted the wish of nine out of 12 barangays in Labo town.
In Albay, Ella Verano, DOLE Albay head, said 94 beneficiaries in far-flung Barangay Balogo in Oas town received a PHp0.6-million livelihood grant from DOLE.
She said the PHp629,800 livelihood package consisted of materials, small hand tools and equipment which correspond to such skills as welding, food preparation and sewing.
“If summed up, each beneficiary received some PHp6,700 worth of materials,” she added.
Verano quoted a beneficiary who said he was very thankful for the opportunity given by DOLE.
“With this we can start our own small business and support our family. Again thank you very much DOLE Bicol,” said the middle-aged beneficiary who Verano said declined to be identified.
According to her, the local government unit of Oas also signified its willingness to avail of the same project under their current poverty alleviation program.
Trayvilla stressed the livelihood program is open to all qualified beneficiaries.
She reiterated however that DOLE wants to look for those beneficiaries who really want to start anew as DOLE is keen on its livelihood program really reaching the grassroots. (PNA)