The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is helping restore the economy and the local business sector of small communities in Masbate through its DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP), which provides livelihood opportunities to residents based on their skills and experiences. 

According to DOLE-Bicol (DOLE-5) spokesperson Johana Vi Gasga, they’ve already distributed Kabuhayan packages worth PHP2.5 million to 100 select beneficiaries of Masbate’s Claveria town. 

“DOLE-Bicol gave 78 percent counterpart, amounting to PHP1,978,730 while LGU (local government unit) Claveria shoulders the remaining 22 percent or equivalent to PHP549,682 for the continuity of their respective businesses,” Gasga said in an announcement earlier this week.

One of the beneficiaries, 38-year-old fisher Rene Daliang, expressed his gratitude for being chosen for the starter kit program. Through the initiative, he was able to buy a motorized fiberglass boat and fishing paraphernalia which he’ll use to provide for his family.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa DOLE kay daku na tabang gayod sa akon na pangabuhay an akon nareceiver dagdag san income, para sa akon na pamilya (Thank you, DOLE for the big help I received to provide additional income for my family),” Daliang, who’s part of a family of seven, said. 

Sixty-nine-year-old Billy Villagalas, a father of three and local of Barangay San Ramon, echoed the same sentiments.

“Nagpapasalamat din po ako sa tulong na naihatag kan DOLE sa amon. Igwa man dati po ako na manula na makina sa pagtahi, pero dili na kayang kung damo na mga orders, dili po ako mahirapan sa mga damo na orders, kay high speed na ang gagamiton ko (I’m thankful for the help given by DOLE to us. I also had a sewing machine, but it cannot accommodate a big volume of orders. Now, it will not be difficult even with so many orders since I will be using high speed machine),” he said.

DOLE-5 Regional Director Ma. Zenaida Angara-Campita said the DILP and similar programs are focused on strengthening economic activities to cushion the long-term impact of the pandemic and natural disasters on the economy, especially for those in the informal sector.

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Image credit: DOLE