ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office IX (DOLE9) thru its Zamboanga City Field Office (ZCFO) turned over a livelihood project to 55 members of the Zamboanga International Airport Porters Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ZIAPMCO-Skycap) on November 23, 2018 at the Arrival Area of the Zamboanga International Airport, this City.

DOLE9 Regional Director Ofelia B. Domingo reported that the livelihood assistance amounting to PHP 449,249.00 is intended to fund a commissary store. She further added that the project is funded under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) that encourages self-employment to provide income opportunities to deserving beneficiaries.

ZIAPMCO-Skycap is an organization formed way back in 1952 composed of individuals who work as porters at the airport. However, skycap porters do not receive salaries, they only depend on “tips” given by passengers with no fixed amount for the service rendered.

This reality prompted the cooperative to partner with DOLE 9 and request for livelihood assistance to put up a sustainable income-generating project by way of a commissary store which will directly benefit the members of the cooperative.

Ranging from rice and other grocery items as their main products, the project will cater mostly to the members of the coop and employees and airport passengers.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Region 9 (CAAP 9) Management led by Mr Antonio Alfonso extended their thanks to DOLE 9 for the provision of livelihood assistance to the porters. He stressed that ZIAMPCO is the only group organized by organic porters in the city that availed of DOLE’s livelihood program.

Cooperative President, Mr. Lejandro Angeles, said that the cooperative is committed to exert their collective effort to sustain the project. He said that with the help of DOLE 9 in the marketing of their store and ZIA for providing them the area to set up the project, business growth may be expected.

Marcelino O. Leonardo, a skycap porter and member of ZIAMPCO, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to DOLE 9, “Nagpapasalamat po kame sa tulong ng DOLE sa aming mga porters. Sa pamamagitan po nitong aming tindahan ay magkakaroon na kame ng karagdagang kita lalo na at hindi po sapat ang kinikita naming base lang sa tip ng mga pasahero. Salamat po DOLE!” (We are thankful to DOLE for this assiatnce given to us porters. Through this store, we will have additional income especially so that our income as porters is not enough. Thank you DOLE!” END/With reports from Emma Lim, ZCFO.