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Displaced workers get livelihood kits

SOME 102 workers and self-employed individuals who were affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic were given livelihood kits by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol regional office.

Through DOLE’s Kabuhayan Starter Kits program, 61 workers from Tigaon, Camarines Sur each received a livelihood package amounting to P17,325 per kit, while 41 more from Daet town in Camarines Norte got a total of P490,450-worth of livelihood assistance.

Joel Luzada, a displaced pedicab driver from Barangay Talojongon in Tigaon, one of the beneficiaries of DOLE’s program got a new cooking equipment consisting of gas range, gasul, pots, pans and fresh meat.

“My wife and I will use this kit to sell barbecue,” Luzada said.

During the period of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), he was not able to ply his pedicab, which was his family’s only source of income. He has two kids, both are still toddlers, and a wife who is also unemployed.

But when he received the livelihood starter kit, it gave him hope to start anew. He said the assistance from DOLE will help augment their daily needs.

“Kakanin” vendor Nora Padron of Poblacion, Tigaon also got the same livelihood kit. Prior to Covid-19, she had been selling siomai, kikiam, and suman near an elementary school in their community.

Pardon happily told DOLE Bicol that she is planning to cook meals instead and sell it to her neighbors. “This will help me and my family earn money during this trying time,” she said.

In the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey about adult joblessness conducted via mobile phones and computer-assisted telephone interviews, the result revealed that jobless Filipinos reached a “record high” number of 45.5 percent since the 34.4 percent recorded in March 2012.

The Camarines Provincial Field Office and LGU Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Tigaon headed by Ana Christine Soriano and Policarpio Malonda, respectively, coordinated with DOLE for their constituents to benefit from this existing government social program.

Meanwhile, during the turnover ceremony in Daet, Camarines Norte, program in-charge barangay councilor Alaon expressed his gratitude to DOLE for livelihood kits as they will help mitigate the impact of pandemic to working adults.

“This DOLE program is a big help for our constituents who are currently facing livelihood loss in the midst of pandemic,” he said.

Renalyn Alano, a labor official who attended the event on behalf of DOLE Camarines Norte chief Jane Rolda, also assured the beneficiaries of continued guidance and collaboration to ensure the success of their livelihood ventures.

DOLE Bicol regional director Joel M. Gonzales urged the beneficiaries to take care of the materials to sustain their business.

“If the kit survives, they have the chance to be given an enhancement kit,” he said.

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