Labor agency holds livelihood enhancement forum

LAOAG CITY, Sept. 23 — To enhance the entrepreneurial capacity of the farmers’ organizations in the countryside, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) convened recently a region-wide forum on Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF) with Gender Perspective in San Fernando City, La Union.

The officers from the four thriving farmer’s groups of Ilocos Norte attended the conference aiming to learn more knowledge about the programs of the emerging integration of products and services of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Amelia Bautista, who is the current development officer and project manager of the BAGNOS (Bassit a Ganansia Naurnong Omado Sanikua) Multi-purpose Cooperative in Banna town, said the event had given them more ideas to improve the quality of their Banna blend rice coffee products to become more competitive in the world markets.

Aside from BAGNOS MPC, the other Ilocos Norte farmer’s organizations that participated in the forum were the Mumulaan Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative in Paoay town; the Saud-Paratong Fishermen Association in Badoc town; and the Catuguing Palayamanan 4H Club in San Nicolas town.

Regional Director Grace Ursua of DOLE in the Ilocos, said the four farmer’s group from Ilocos Norte were among the 19 associations and cooperatives being assisted by her agency across the Ilocos region that attended the seminar.

The 19 associations and cooperatives had 20 demonstration projects which have exemplified viability for at least one year and with predominantly women membership.

The program was part of the labor agency’s reforms towards the sustainability of DOLE-assisted livelihood projects in pursuit of the national agenda of inclusive growth.

Ursua said most of the demo projects have already received various interventions from the DOLE for establishing a track record for sustainability, viability and productivity.

“Within the framework, the DOLE and its partners will assist these selected projects in transitioning into viable enterprises that can provide more employment and provide greater opportunities for women to participate in pursuing economic growth,” she said.

Luis Reynoso, supervising labor and employment officer at the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), noted the livelihood sustainability should be promoted in light of the ASEAN Integration, climate change and globalization.
The other benefits derived from the SLF with Gender Perspective were: improved competitiveness of products or services; and improved income levels and quality of life and economic growth. (Freddie G. Lazaro/ PIA- 1 Ilocos Norte)