Bello hands out more than P3.5 million DOLE livelihood assistance to 320 Zambaleños
CITY OF OLONGAPO – Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, over the weekend, led the distribution of a P3,800,000.00 livelihood assistance to some 320 marginalized Zambaleños at the Rizal Triangle, Olongapo City.
The offices of Zambales 1st District Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun and Olongapo City Government, through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO), initiated the undertaking with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The livelihood assistance, sourced from the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), were in form of Negosyo sa Kariton (NegoKart) Projects and DOLE-Kabuhayan Starter Kits.
Bello was joined by Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun and Olongapo City Mayor Raulen Paulino in the initial distribution of 50 negokarts amounting to some P750,000.00.
Some 50 ambulant vendors, 25 from Subic town and the remaining 25 from Olongapo City, were the lucky recipients of the negokarts. The negokarts are either enhanced or start-up roving cart businesses which include street foods like fishballs, squidballs, kikiam, “kakanin,” and merienda foods, among others.
DOLE Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione said that beneficiaries were each provided negokarts and undergone an Entrepreneurship Development Training (EDT) to ensure the proper management of their businesses.
“Each vendor-beneficiary was provided with a total of P15,000.00 in livelihood assistance, of which, comprises a vending cart and accessory livelihood tools costing P12,500.00, along with a working capital amounting to P2,500.00,” Dione explained.
Belo handed over a P2,000,000.00 livelihood check, of which, P1,500,000.00, through the Municipality of Subic’s bottoms-up budgeting (BUB), will be intended for 100 negokarts to benefit 100 ambulant vendors.
The remaining P500,000.00, under the DOLE’s regular livelihood funds, on the other hand, will be intended for 100 starter kits to benefit 100 marginalized individuals.
The starter kits are start-up carry-on businesses which include slipper retail, manicure, pedicure, foot-spa, hair-cutting, massage therapy, and other health and wellness businesses.
Bello handed out another P1,050,000.00 livelihood check, made possible through the Olongapo City Government’s BUB, intended for 70 negokarts to benefit 70 ambulant vendors residing in the city.
Bello, who served as guest of honor in the distribution of livelihood assistance, urged beneficiaries to manage their livelihood projects in hopes of transforming them into sustainable businesses.
“Ang tulong pangkabuhayan na ibinahagi po sa inyo ng DOLE, tulad nitong mga Negokarts at Starter Kits, ay isang tuloy-tuloy na hakbang ng gobyerno sa pagbibigay ng alternatibong pagkakakitaan at pangkabuhayan para sa ating mga kababayan upang maitaas nila ang antas ng kanilang pamumuhay at higit sa lahat ay makatulong sa kanila mga pamilya,” Bello said, adding:
“Ito po ay hindi loan kundi libre lamang po dahil nais ng DOLE na tumulong sa mga taong gustong tulungan ang kanilang mga sarili. Kaya’t hinihikayat ko po kayong lahat na sana ito po ay inyong pahalagaan at pagyamanin para narin sa kinabukasan ninyo at ng inyong pamilya.”
Mayor Paulino, on behalf of his fellow local leaders, thanked Bello and the rest of the DOLE, for personally handing out the livelihood assistance to their respective constituents.
“First time po na mismo ang ating butihing Kalihim ng Kagawaran ng Paggawa at Paghahanapbuhay pa ang bumaba para ipagkaloob ang mga Negokarts at Starter kits na ito sa mga kababayan namin dito sa Olongapo at Subic, kaya maraming maraming salamat po Secretary Bello sa inyong oras sa pagbibigay pansin sa aming mga kababayan,” Paulino said.
The provision of livelihood assistance is the best gift to receive in time for the start of the new year says Luzviminda Gimeo, on behalf of her co-beneficiaries.
“Napakalaking tulong po sa amin ang mapagkalooban ng ganitong klaseng proyekto dahil ito po ay makakapagbigay na sa amin ng garantisadong arawang kita mula P200.00 hanggang P500.00 o higit pa, depende po kung may mahalagang okasyon dito sa aming bayan, kaya maraming maraming salamat po sa DOLE at umasa po kayo na ito po ay aming pagyayamanin,” Gimeo said.
Accompanying Bello from the DOLE Central Office include Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Tutay, Financial Management Services Director Warren Miclat, and Information Publication Services head Gerry Rubio.
Meanwhile, Director Dione from the DOLE regional office was joined by Technical Support and Services for Employment and Welfare head Alejandro Inza-Cruz and DOLE Zambales Field Office head Reynante Lugtu.
Other local officials present to witness the livelihood distribution include Zambales Board Member Jon Khonghun, Subic Mayor Jay Khonghun, Olongapo PESO Manager Mario Equillo, and Subic PESO Manager Jane Solano.
The Negokart project and Kabuhayan Starter KITS are flagship programs of the DOLE that aims to provide decent and sustainable livelihood to benefit and empower marginalized workers.
END/Jerry Borja/Albert Aquino/Arvin Fabian