ZAMBOANGA CITY — A women-run bakery in the mountain barangay of Paraiso, Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte is set to offer cakes and pastries, thanks to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9, the Local Government of Kalawit, Barangay Council of Paraiso and the hard members of the Paraiso Women’s Association (PWA). 


Famed for its bread and cookies in the nearby towns, the Paraiso Women Bakery was first established in 2016 and grew to become one of the Best Group Livelihood Projects in 2018 during DOLE’s Kabuhayan Awards. 


Seeing how the business has prospered over the years, the DOLE together with LGU Kalawit turned-over livelihood enhancement assistance to the association in the form of tools and equipment worth PHP 423,325.00 on February 24, 2021. 


DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that the assistance is under the DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program or DILP which provides workers with additional income and alternative employment 


“The DILP or most widely known as the Kabuhayan Program has 3 components – Formation, Enhancement and Restoration. For the part of the Paraiso Women Association, we have already helped them form the livelihood project and because they have performed so well in sustaining the business, we have now moved to enhancing the project as they plan to introduce more products,” Director Buenafe added. 


The bakery is currently operating with 8 workers and 20 on call bread packers. With the livelihood enhancement, the bakery is projected to employ 10 more workers. 


“We plan to be the leading source and supplier of bread, cookies, cakes and pastries in the Municipalities of Kalawit and Labason by establishing a branch in their town centers. We are also looking into producing pasalubong packs for tourists and travelers,” said Lucia Matutis, association president. 


Hernia Dumadawan, one of the association members said, “We are very happy that through the bakery our idle time has lessened. We are also able to contribute income to our households.” 


“Thank you very much DOLE, LGU Kalawit and to the barangay officials of Kalawit who worked hand in hand to provide us this assistance. Clearly, it has changed not only the life of its members but also the rest of the community,” shared Matutis. END

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