DOLE gives P3-M livelihood grants to Oas residents

By Connie Destura

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office in Bicol has given a total of PHP3 million worth of livelihood assistance to 168 beneficiaries in Oas town in Albay.

Rovelinda Dela Rosa, DOLE-Bicol regional director, on Monday said, “Yes, we are going down to the barangay for our livelihood program in response to the order of Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III to reach the grassroots.”

The first awarding of livelihood aid was recently held at San Ramon Pavillon, Barangay San Ramon, Oas, Albay, where 88 beneficiaries received assorted tools needed for food vending, hog raising, sewing, vulcanizing, welding, carpentry and hair styling, with a total amount of PHP1,634,075.

The second awarding was held at the covered court of Cagmanaba, Oas, Albay for 80 beneficiaries composed of fishermen, hog raisers and dressmakers who each received a “sibid-sibid” (local name for a small, manually operated fishing boat). The total amount for said grant is PHP1,408,986.

Fatima R. Calusim, one of the beneficiaries in Barangay San Ramos, who received a food vending package, thanked DOLE for her "early Christmas gift". She promised to make the most out of the livelihood assistance she received.

"Thank you very much, DOLE for having a program like this and for choosing me as a beneficiary. I will use the boat for livelihood," Daryl Bartolome, a fisherman, said in the vernacular.

“Let me reiterate these grants are in the form of hand tools and equipment and not cash. This is one of the main strategies of DOLE to generate employment and curb poverty by providing alternative livelihood,” Dela Rosa stressed.

DOLE-Bicol said there are more grants coming before the year ends not only in the province of Albay but also in other provinces.

Dela Rosa said, “Just seeing the smile drawn on the face of our beneficiaries gives us (DOLE) fulfillment”.