ZAMBOANGA CITY — “Life as a solo parent is difficult as I need to fulfill the needs of my growing children alone and without any other support,” said Cheryl Undayag.

Undayag, the appointed leader of a group of food vendors in Barangay Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City, cannot hide her excitement when she learned that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 will turn over a check to fund the Negosyo Kariton of 15 vendors in their Barangay.

“Our group is composed of solo parents like myself and persons with disabilities who would greatly benefit from the livelihood assistance,” Undayag added.

“We see a potential for growth and sustainability with ambulant food vendors,” Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said. “They already have the skills and the product. We’d like to capitalize on that by providing them with a food cart which gives them more mobility and lower operational costs in the long run.”

The Nego Kart Project is DOLE’s initiative providing the ambulant vendors with service/assistance that will enable them to increase, upgrade and/or diversify their products or services and market these to a greater number of buyers or customers.

On January 13, 2021, DOLE 9 Assistant Regional Director Imelda F. Gatinao with Zamboanga City Field Office Chief Ian A. Lahi handed over a check worth PhP 474,160.00 to Barangay Sta. Maria Chairperson Los Eli B. Angeles. Barangay Sta. Maria will serve as the Accredited Co-Partner for the implementation of the project.

Zamboanga City Councilors Miguel C. Alavar III and Rogelio “Gerky” L. Velasco, who were both instrumental in pushing the implementation of the project also stood as witnesses to the turn-over ceremony.

A short orientation on the features of the program followed suit.

ARD Gatinao said that DOLE employees are committed to serving its clientele so she hopes that the beneficiaries find themselves blessed to receive such assistance especially in the time of pandemic.

“I encourage everyone to strive hard to make this livelihood undertaking outstanding.”

As a response, Cheryl Undayag said that the project is timely and will help augment her income in providing for her children’s needs.

“Thank you very much DOLE for your assistance.” She committed to help the Barangay Council in monitoring the project. She also encouraged her fellow beneficiaries to work diligently to succeed on their livelihood undertaking. END/KC Grafia With Reports from Joni Sarina R. Mejico, LEO-III, ZCFO