City of San Fernando, La Union – The Department of Labor and Employment-Regional Office 1 will further intensify its livelihood program to achieve the goals of poverty alleviation and employment generation at the grassroots. DOLE 1 Regional Director Grace Ursua bared that the agency earmarked about P29,387,000 million to fund livelihood projects this year. The amount, she said, can assist more marginalized workers associations and individuals in starting or enhancing their entrepreneurship undertakings.
Last year, the DOLE 1 disbursed P14,948,297 for 57 livelihood projects across the region, benefitting 3,586 direct beneficiaries with provincial distribution as follows: Ilocos Norte – 754; Ilocos Sur – 728; La Union – 1,155 and Pangasinan – 949. The beneficiaries include farmers, fisherfolk, women, ambulant vendors, persons with disabilities, union members, home-based workers, parents of child laborers and bamboo workers. Ursua said the assistance were used to either start or enhance 57 livelihood projects such as organic fertilizer production, garlic processing, bamboo craft, canteen and grocery, negosyo sa kariton, starter kits, acquisition of farm implements, management of agricultural supplies, fishing banca project, duck and quail raising, goat production, turmeric processing, among others. She said the DOLE 1, local government units, non-government organizations, workers organizations and unions, people’s organizations and other government agencies follow a convergent approach to provide comprehensive livelihood services such as start-up capital in the form of equipment, tools, raw materials, trainings, marketing and social protection.
“The rural areas abound with natural resources, including local people who are willing to take part in cultivating these resources, to begin micro/small business undertakings which help spur economic progress and produce employment opportunities. What the DOLE and its partners do through livelihood is to tap these people and involve them in generating growth that will redound to their benefit,” Ursua said. She said that convergence allows the delivery of packaged services, which ensures greater sustainability of projects.
“I commend all our partners for lending their support to the DOLE livelihood program. Our partnership brings inclusive growth closer to the grassroots level,” the Regional Director remarked.
The DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program is one of the strategies implemented by the government to fulfill the President’s vision of achieving sustained economic growth through investing in rural enterprises that create opportunities for the poor and the marginalized. – Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez
Cleared for release:
GRACE Y. URSUA