ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 16, 2022 – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) led the Labor Day Celebration for Workers in the Informal Sector (WIS) on May 13, 2022 at the Zamboanga ECOZONE, San Ramon, Talisayan, Zamboanga City.

“This year’s Dia de Obrero for the WIS is anchored on the theme Progresibo en medio de Adversidad – Progressive in the midst of Adversity. For their many contributions to the economy, we seek to honor them on this day,” DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said in an interview.

DOLE Central Office Senior Officials Undersecretary and Lawyer, Randy B. Escolango, Assistant Secretary Mariano R. Alquiza and Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) Chief Ma. Lourdes Gonzales graced the occasion and delivered messages of support to motivate and inspire workers.

USec Escolango, in his keynote speech, emphasized the government’s efforts in helping informal sector workers:

“Nagpunta kame dito upang ipadama ang pagmamahal ng pamahalaan. Isinsiguro po naming sa inyo na ang DOLE Central ay buong buo po at patuloy ang suporta sa lahat ng programa ng DOLE Region 9 na higit na makakatulong po sa ating maraming kababayan”.

Meanwhile, Ms. Gonzales, in her message, assured IS workers that DOLE and the BWSC is actively participating in discussions with partner agencies to eliminate the sector’s challenges such as invisibility and poor access to productive resources.

“Hinihimok namin ang PSA na maisama kayo sa kanilang survey upang mas makita at maramdaman kayo. Handa rin ang DOLE na ibigay ang inyong pangangailangan base sa kasalukuyang mga polisiya at tuntunin,” she said.

“DOLE 9 and its family of agencies and partners worked hand in hand to line up meaningful activities, programs, and services for the benefit of at least 220 obreros in the informal sector who attended the activity,” Atty. Buenafe added.

One of these activities is the distribution of Kabuhayan Starter Kits (KSK) to 11 beneficiaries for various projects such as food processing, carpentry, and welding in the total amount of Php 222,400.00. Beneficiaries were Sabbah deportees, persons with disabilities and informal sector workers.

Some 50 beneficiaries from the fishing and canning industry also received their wages for 10 days work under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program in the total amount Php 237,000.00.

To enhance workers’ knowledge on personal finance, rags to riches entrepreneur Engr. Fredesvindo G. Covarrubias, Jr., owner of By Gems Party Kingdom, shared his inspirational story and conducted a learning session on financial literacy.

Technical Education and Skills development Authority (TESDA) held skills demonstration for participants who are interested in learning how to bake cookies, muffins and siopao.

TESDA graduates also offered free services such as massages, nail care and hair cuts to participants and guests.

A one-stop-shop of services, composed of representatives from the Social Security System, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig HDMF, catered to worker inquiries and concerns relative to their services.

Beneficiaries of DOLE’s Negosyo sa Kariton (NegoKart) projects also joined in the NegoKart festival to sell kakanin and street food to customers.

In the afternoon, workers were treated to fun activities such as karaoke singing competition, “Bring Me” game and a raffle draw with exciting prizes.

“We are more than satisfied as to the attendee turn-out for this year’s WIS Labor Day celebration because we have prepared this for their benefit.

We would like to thank DOLE’s family of agencies, partners and stakeholders for taking part and helping make this event a success,” said Atty. Buenafe. END

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