Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday ordered all DOLE regional directors and program managers to fast-track the release of DOLE Integrated Livelihood Assistance Program (DILP) funds to enable survivors to earn decent incomes and quickly recover from the ravages of the calamities that befell them.

"My instruction during our DOLE-wide planning exercise was to already roll out in the first month of 2014 the DILP funds given us by Congress, either for our regular programs or for rebuilding after Typhoon Yolanda. February is almost over, and March is coming, so I expect that ou livelihood assistance to calamity survivors will already be making headway," said Baldoz, as she expressed concern over the seemingly snail-paced move of program managers to implement programs.

She said the DOLE targets 100,000 emergency and livelihood program beneficiaries this 2014 under a regular budget of P609.8 million and 102,011 beneficiaries under Yolanda projects with a budget of P883.98 million for the full year. "We have targets to meet, or even surpass, so we better be prepared and be fast," she warned.

Baldoz, who is in Bohol as keynote speaker in the 2nd Visayas Regional Occupational Safety and Health Summit, said all DOLE regional directors have the responsibility--and are accountable to her--for the implementation of the DILP in convergence with the Departments of
Agrarian Reform; Agriculture, Interior and Local Governments; Science and Technology; Environment and Natural Resources; Trade and Industry;
Social Welfare and Development; local government units, and other partners.

As this developed, Baldoz observed that the DOLE Regional Office No. 7 had only released in Bohol Province in January and February P1.159 million in livelihood grants to eight workers' livelihood enterprises with total beneficiaries of 487 individuals.

In January, the regional office released a total of P425,000 in DILP grants to the Lila Fish Vendors' Association in Lila, Bohol, for the fish vending activities of its 77 members--55 of whom are female, in the amount of P80,500; Bungahan Farmers Association in Antequera, Bohol, for the duck raising and balut processing business of its 85 farmer-members, 27 of whom are female, in the amount of P114,000; Barangay Livestock Aide, also in Antequera, Bohol, for the duck raising and balut processing business of its 40 members, five of whom are female, in the amount of P114,000; Casabut Organic Farming System in Barangays Cabawan, Agahay, San Roque, Aliguay, Busao, and Toril in Maribojoc, Bohol, for training-cum-production on chorizo and tocino; dress-making; and cassava chips making, of its 21 female members in the amount of P177,000.

Yesterday, at the summit, Baldoz, joined by Bohol Governor Edgar M. Chatto and Regional Director Chona Mantilla, released the amount of P732,152.40 for the livelihood enterprises of 285 individuals, detailed as follows: (1) P269,402 to the Gotozon Balsa Performers' Association, Loboc, Bohol, whose 92 members are engaged in tourist entertainment. The amount is for rehabilitation of their floating raft destroyed by the Bohol earthquake.

Secretary Baldoz and Gov. Chatto also handed out a check of P118,400 to the Anda Senior Citizens Association, Poblacion, Anda, Bohol, for its 76 members' goat-raising business; P106,500 to the Lundag Farmers Association, in Anda, Bohol, for its dairy goat-raising business. The association has 37 members, 33 males and four females; P100,000 to the Anda OFW Returnees and Beneficiaries Association for its malunggay kropek business, with 41 beneficiaries, 15 of whom are male and 26 are female; and P137,850 to the Baucan Norte Farmers Association, in Balilihan, Bohol, for its dairy goat-raising enterprise. The association has 39 members, 25 of whom are male and 14 are female.

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