ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment Region 9 (DOLE 9) released a check amounting to 540,339.00 pesos representing livelihood assistance to 29 dependents of soldiers killed-in-action (KIA) during the siege in Marawi City, explosions in Lamitan City and rebel encounters in Jolo, Sulu.

The said assistance will be in the form of Kabuhayan Starter Kits under the DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) which provides tools, jigs and equipment to individual beneficiaries to engage in income generating projects.

DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that the DILP is DOLE’s contribution to the government’s agenda of inclusive growth through massive job generation and substantial poverty reduction.

“We give opportunities to the poor and vulnerable by providing them access to a grant assistance for livelihood ventures based on their skills,” Director Roy further added.

Assistant Regional Director Imelda F. Gatinao, representing Director Buenafe turned over the check to Esperancita E. Hupida of the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance Inc. (ZABIDA), DOLE’s accredited co-partner for the grant on July 1, 2020 at the DOLE 9 Office in Sta. Catalina, Zamboanga City.

“As a member-agency of the Comprehensive Social Benefit Program (CSBP), it is DOLE’s commitment to the legal beneficiaries of the KIA AFP and PNP personnel to provide livelihood assistance,” ARD Gatinao said in an interview.

“In behalf of ZABIDA Board of Directors and team, we are very happy that we continued our partnership and collaboration. We are very grateful to DOLE and the people behind the agency who has been our partner for so many years. We will really deliver not only as compliance to the proposal but because of our common vision to improve the quality of life of our target beneficiaries,” Ms. Hupida happily expressed.

The said amount released will defray the cost of starter kits worth 20,000 pesos each per beneficiary. Among the kits to be purchased were for commissary stores, commercial cooking, rice retailing, loading station, welding and dressmaking. END/KCQG