Florentino Olpindo, 45, a farmer from barangay Agdeppa in the third class municipality of Bangar, La Union has high hopes that life in the coming days will be better for him and 315 other farmers.

Florentino's group, the Agna Farmers and Irrigators Association (AGNAFIA) received one tractor.

"We are overjoyed by the assistance from the DOLE and the local government of Bangar under the leadership of Mayor Joy Merin. I and my fellow farmer beneficiaries believe that the equipment you have given us will boost our livelihood. We commit to sustain the project and support one another to improve not only our family conditions, but to be able to help in attaining progress for Bangar," Florentino said.

To complement the livelihood assistance, the LGU of Bangar shouldered P220,590 for the farmers' micro insurance coverage; training on bookkeeping, financial reports preparation and advocacy on social protection, and project monitoring and supervision.

"You have in your hands right now the instruments to deliver your commitment to this project and under the BUB program, that is, to be the government's partners in reducing poverty and generating local employment," Director Ursua said.

"The concept of the BUB program is to allow you to actively participate in the development process. You have first-hand knowledge of your community's conditions, and therefore, you should be given a say in programs and policies that will impact on your lives," the Regional Director added.

Bangar, La Union is among the 300 pilot areas from the 609 focus cities and municipalities nationwide under the BUB which allows more participatory planning and budgeting of both local and national governments through the involvement of grassroots organizations and communities.

Under the bottom-up planning and budgeting, participating agencies such as the DOLE, are mandated to earmark or set aside at least 10% of the budgets of programs and projects included in the Human Resource Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster's menu of programs to fund the project proposals of the focus cities and municipalities.

For 2015, the DOLE-1 has earmarked P15,575,000 for the BUB where the Province of Ilocos Norte has an allotment of P2,025,000; Ilocos Sur has P3,250,000; La Union, P3,610,000, and Pangasinan, P6,690,000.

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