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224 Masbate folk get P4.2-M DOLE aid

LEGAZPI CITY --- Some 224 villagers in two coastal towns in the island province of Masbate are now ready to embark on livelihood projects with a set of Kabuhayan starter kit tools they each received from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Johana Vi Gasga, DOLE-Bicol spokesperson, said the P4.2-million worth of livelihood kits were given to the recipients over the weekend.

“The P2.34 million-worth of business kits were given to 125 qualified beneficiaries in Milagros town and P1.9 million-worth of kits to 99 Balud town beneficiaries,” she said.

Gasga said the beneficiaries are part of the informal economy or sectors who do not qualify under the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), among them fishermen, farmers, cooks, sewers, bakers, and others.

"The recipients of the kits were food processors wherein each one received a steamer, gas stove, gas tank, burger grill, aluminum stand and buffet tray.

Beauticians, barbers and therapists received blower, hair iron, scissors, razors, foot reflex, parlor chairs and exercise mats.

Sewers received one sewing machine each; and carpenters, masons, welders, technicians and electricians got a welding machine, hammer, grinder, electric drill, saw and planer each," she said.

Gasga added that skilled persons received their own tools. Fishermen, for instance, were each given a boat. Joel Gonzales, DOLE-Bicol regional director, in a separate interview, said that the basic perspective of the beneficiaries is to acquire the tools and utilize them to produce products, and gain income from selling or rendering service to clients.

“This time, the perspective of the beneficiaries should be, tutulungan ko ‘yung nagugutom, ibibigay ko ang gusto nila sa tamang presyo at kalidad. Kapag ganoon ang pag-iisip nila, lalago ang negosyo,” (I will help the hungry; I will give them the right amount and quality of products. If the beneficiaries think like that, their business will grow),” he said.

Gonzales said the beneficiaries have to identify the needs, interests and demands of potential clients and customers.

If the starter kit given to the beneficiaries becomes the source of their income, their lives could change, he said.

“If the kit survives at least one year, they have the chance to be given an enhancement kit,” Gonzales added. (PNA)

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