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The regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment in the Zamboanga Peninsula  introduced the five-year development plan of the Project HOPE (Helping Others Prosper Economically) last June 20, 2019 at Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone.

Project HOPE is a holistic intervention and initiative of the DOLE Regional Office 9 for the displaced workers and their dependents of the fishing and canning industry affected by the annual closed fishing season (December to February) by providing livelihood, emergency employment and skills training.

The project focuses on providing alternative source of income through eco-agricultural farming.

Maria Lourdes Gonzales, Chief of the Workers in the Informal Economy Development Division of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns gave a message of support to the program.

“I challenge the beneficiaries na i-sustain ang tulong na ibibigay ng DOLE towards a sustainable livelihood of your own. Inaasahan ng DOLE na pangangalagaan ninyo ang assistance na ibibigay ng gobyerno,” Gonzales expressed.

Also in attendance was Undersecretary Renato Ebarle who highlighted that the success of the project must be centered on the gain of the beneficiaries, and called for the continuous support and commitment of all agencies.

Regional Director Ofelia Domingo said that the development of the Project HOPE manifests the convergence efforts of the government and the private sector. “The closed fishing season has been a serious concern for affected workers and their dependents who need alternative sources of income during this period. I encourage the beneficiaries to sustain and remain committed to the projects,” she added.

The five-year development plan includes training of beneficiaries, planting of high-value crops, market encounters and poultry raising as target activities for the year 2019.

END/mgbassig/cpolicarpio

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