ZAMBOANGA CITY –The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the Zampen Region has recently released PHP 500,000.00 worth of livelihood assistance to former MNLF combatants from Barangay Mangusu, Zamboanga City.

Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, DOLE 9 Regional Director, said that the assistance is made possible through DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) which is one of the flagship programs of DOLE that focuses on improving the lives of marginalized workers in local communities.

He said, “It seeks to contribute to poverty reduction and reduce vulnerability to risks of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized workers through self-employment or livelihood undertaking.”

Composit Association, which was formed with the help of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), is composed of 35 members who were former combatants turned fisherfolk. Since the members reside in the coastal vicinities of Mangusu and Tumitus, fishing has been their main source of income. The area has been noted to have abundance of pelagic fishes such as mackerel, tuna and bonitos.

In the case of Composit Association, they requested  funds for the purchase of a second-hand or ready-made mini ring net which is central to their livelihood in the area as this is one of the most effective ways of fishing.

DOLE 9 Assistant Regional Director Imelda F. Gatinao turned over the check to Mr. Titing S. Asari, Association President on September 3, 2020 during a ceremonial turn-over at the DOLE 9 Premises in Sta. Catalina, Zamboanga City.

The assistance will include training on Occupational Safety and Health and enrolment to the GSIS Personal Accident Insurance (GPAI).

Asari said that the project will not only improve economic engagement but will also improve productivity of the members. He thanked DOLE 9 for the support given to their members which is timely given the impact COVID-19 has had on their sources of income. END