At Abucay, Bataan, Community Group receives Livelihood
City of Balanga – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional 3 this year once again kicks-off its series of developmental and interventional programs for the informal and disadvantaged sectors in Central Luzon by providing them alternative means of livelihood in uplifting their lives through the DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Programs. At Abucay, Bataan, DOLE Regional Director Raymundo Agravante reported to Labor Secretary Rosalinda-Dimapilis Baldoz, that the DOLE Bataan Field Office under the supervision of Angelita Fernando, partnered with the Municipal Government of Abucay through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in awarding livelihood assistance amounting to two hundred thousand (Php. 200,000) to 38 members of the Capitangan Organic Farmers Marketing Cooperative (COFMACO) under the DOLE’s Community Enterprise Development (CED) for the group’s organic fertilizer production. The group was a previous recipient of the DOLE’s Php. 150,000 livelihood assistance for its start-up capital on the same economic activity in 2008. Rodrigo Dela Cruz, President of the COFMACO, expressed his warm appreciation to the DOLE and the Abucay LGU for once again helping their group, especially on “hard times,” being victims of the wrath of typhoon Pedring, which destroyed their production building where their stock of raw materials were all washed out.
“Dumaan ng matinding pagsubok ang samahan noong masalanta ng bagyong Pedring ang aming gusali at masira ang aming mga kagamitan sa produksyon,” Dela Cruz shared.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa DOLE dahil nakita nila ang aming kalagayan. Sa pangalawang pagkakataon, kami ay binigyan ng panibagong livelihood assistance upang kami ay makabagon muli. Gagawin naming ang lahat para palaguin ang tulong ng DOLE” Dela Cruz added. Aside from the livelihood grant, the DOLE also distributed checks to forty five (45) students who participated in the DOLE’s whole year jobs for the youth through the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) which will be used for their tuition fees for the following school year. The said checks represented the 40 percent of the DOLE’s share in form of salaries of the students, while the remaining 60 percent is from the company’s share. Mara Valencia Parrela, 18 years old and a 3rd year college student of Kalayaan Bataan College, who worked on the DOLE’s youth job program as a Librarian Assistant, expressed her thank you to the DOLE for giving her the opportunity to find ways and means to augment her education expenses via the SPES Program. “Nang dahil pos a SPES ng DOLE, makakapag aral po ako sa susunod na taon. Sa ganitong paraan, makakatulong po ako sa gastusin n gaming pamilya” she shared. Meanwhile, the Abucay PESO distributed PhilHealth Cards to 25 recipients of the DOLE’s Starter KITS given a year ago as the LGU Abucay’s counterpart assistance. Bataan 1st District Representative Herminia Roman, Abucay Mayor Hon. Ana Santigao, DOLE Bureau of Working Conditions Director Brenda Villafuerte, DOLE RO3 Regional Director Raymundo Agravante, DOLE Bataan Field Office Head Angelita Fernando, Technical Support and Services Division for Employment and Welfare Nely Punzalan, and Abucay PESO Manager Nerissa Verona were present in full force to personally award the said livelihood grant. Director Agravante, being an agriculture graduate, encouraged the beneficiaries to do their best in “harvesting the fruits” of the DOLE’s livelihood assistance and likewise inform others about the DOLE’s programs and services. “Pagyamanin ninyo ang tulong DOLE upang umagat ang inyong kabuhayan. Ipagpaalam ninyo sa mga kasamahan ninyo tungkol sa mga programa ng Department of Labor and Employment” said Agravante. (Jerry Borja)