Some 205 vulnerable workers (VWs) of Ilocos Norte received P2.2 million-worth of livelihood support fund from the Department of Labor and Employment here.
The beneficiaries include 120 farmers of Pagudpud town and 50 vocational technology graduates and 35 ambulant vendors of Laoag City.
Vulnerable workers are those who have greater exposure to injury and illness due to their lack of experience, reluctance to ask questions, communication barriers and type of work. Included are young workers, older workers, part-time or seasonal workers, workers with low paying job, among others.
DOLE Region 1 Director Grace Ursua handed over the check amounting to P1,2 million for the Zanjera Tanap a Dakkel and Sanjera Subec, both farmers’ associations in Pagudpud, to Mayor Marlon Ferdinand Sales at the municipal hall on July 6 in the presence of local officials and the farmers.
“The assistance is used for the purchase of farm equipment for renting project, which is seen by the local government unit (LGU) to ensure sufficient water supply for farming activities and to augment their income,” she said.
It will be given to the beneficiaries in the form of equipment and tools such as 32 water pumps, ten shallow tube wells and 192 pieces of water hose. In addition to these, the farmers will undergo capacity building trainings to ensure sustainability of the project.
The LGU will shoulder P300,000 for the equipment housing and training costs, while the beneficiary-associations will contribute P56,000 for the labor costs.
Zanjeras exist particularly in Ilocos Norte to serve as models for sustainable community-managed resources.
Meanwhile, Ursua turned over a check worth P1.02 million to Laoag City Mayor Chevylle Fariñas for Kabuhayan Starter Kits (KSK) and Negosyo sa Kariton (Negokart) projects of 50 voc-tech graduates and 35 ambulant vendors, respectively.
Under the KSK, P500,000 was awarded for the provision of 25 sets of electrical tools, eight sets of welder’s tools, six sets of small engine/motorcycle servicing tools and 11 sets of dress making tools.
For the Negokart, P525,000 will be used for the 35 recipients’ vending carts worth P12,000 each and individual working capital at P2,500.
The beneficiaries will also undergo trainings on basic management and proper food handling.
For its counterpart, the LGU will provide a total of Php286, 350 for the beneficiaries’ training and business permits.
“Through its livelihood program, the DOLE will continue providing employment to vulnerable workers to help them and their communities become self-reliant and be the government’s partners in eradicating poverty,” Ursua said. (Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA- 1 Ilocos Norte with reports from Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez and Leonavella Duldulao of DOLE Region 1)