ZAMBOANGA CITY, December 23, 2022 – A total of 250 skilled workers from various municipalities in Zamboanga Sibugay received early Christmas presents as tools and equipment amounting to Php 7,500,000.00 were turned-over to them from December 12- 20, 2022, courtesy of the Labor Department in Region 9.

DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that the assistance is under DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) which aims to contribute to poverty reduction and reduce the vulnerability to risks of the working poor, vulnerable and marginalized workers either through emergency employment, and promotion of entrepreneurship and community enterprises.

“Through the DILP, beneficiaries are given Kabuhayan Starter Kits (KSK) consisting of a package of services that will enable the target beneficiaries to quickly start a livelihood undertaking and become self-employed,” Buenafe added.

Elamsalih E. Ungad, DOLE Sibugay Chief, said that kits for the following enterprises were awarded to beneficiaries: dressmaking, gardening, masonry, carpentry, vulcanizing, welding, cosmetology, automotive painting, salon servicing and electrical servicing. Each kit costs Php 30,000.00 springboarding their occupations toward work efficiency, income stability and livelihood sustainability.

“Hindi kami titigil sa pagseserbisyo dahil ang gusto namin ay makatulong sa inyo, umunlad ang kabuhayan ninyo at balang araw, kayo din ay makatulong sa kapwa ninyo. (We will not tire of serving you, helping you improve your livelihood, in hopes that one day you will be able to help others.)”, said Ungad addressing the beneficiaries in one of the turn-over ceremonies.

He said that beneficiaries from the following municipalities were identified for the assistance: Tungawan, Naga, R.T. Lim, Payao, Titay, Mabuhay, Talusan, Olutanga, Buug and Alicia.

DILP focal person Edyll Grace P. Poligrates provided the workers with an orientation on the program’s guidelines, beneficiary responsibilities and occupational safety and health to properly equip them in their new venture.

“Labaw pa ni sa pinaskuhan! Kami sa LGU-Talusan, dako ang among pagpasalamat sa DOLE kay kanunay naka-alalay jud sila sa among pagpaningkamot nga mapalambo pa ang atong kumunidad, ug bisan layo ang atong lugar, walay undang ang paghatod nila ug grasya kauban sa dekalidad nga serbisyo sa atoa. (This is more than just a Christmas gift for us. All of us at LGU Talusan are extremely grateful to DOLE for the consistent support in our efforts to keep our community progressive despite the distance and the continuous delivery of services to us.) ” said Hon. Gilbert T. Edem, Municipal Mayor of Talusan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Beneficiaries expressed their gratitude by singing lines from a Christmas carol, “Thank you! Thank you! Ang babait ninyo!” END/With reports from Zede Zabdiel Vergara, DOLE ZSFO

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