Balabalan, Kalinga – A total of 50 organic coffee producers from Balbalan, Kalinga was awarded with a livelihood grant from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment program (DILEEP) amounting to Six Hundred Twenty Three Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P 623,500.00) to purchase materials and equipment such as coffee roaster, heavy duty coffee huller, elevated dryers to the Papaltongon Coffee Producer Association.

DOLE Kalinga Provincial Head Dr. Avelina D. Manganip led the awarding of livelihood check together with Hon. Mayor Eric Gonayon, representing LGU Balbalan which is the Accredited Co-partner (ACP) for the program. Likewise, the Office of the Congressman represented by Mr. Placido Alsiyang Sr., and Balbalan PESO Manager Lucilla Agcaoili also attended the awarding.

The fund will be used to purchase materials and equiptment such as Coffee roaster, heavy Duty Coffee Huller, Elevated Dryers, ets. To be used by the association as they begin their livelihood endeavor. CAR is njoted for its coffee industry having been recognized internationally.

With around 50 members who are mostly Organic Coffee Farmerstrained by the Department of Trade and Industry and Kalinga State University, Papaltongan coffee Producer Association aims, not only to create employment for the community and for themselves, but to further enhance the capacity of their members for economic viability.

In his message, Hon. Eric Gonayon challenged the association to strive higher from their goals not only at present time but for the enxt generation. In doing so, he said, cooperation and bayanihan will be imperative to their success. Otherwise, moving forward will be impossible.

Dr. Manganip, on the other hand, explained the liquidation process. She reminded the role of LGU-Balbalan as the Accredited Co-partner taking into accoung their responsibilities enunciated in the MOA.

She also added that the members will always be accountable and responsible to the association’s success and failure. Thus, while this may be a grant from the government, she hopes that the members will carry out their respective responsibilities so that their endeavor may prosper and not wasted.

Mr. Placido Asiyang also gave his swift message on behalf og Congressman Allen Jesse Mangaoang. He said that it is incumbent upon the Office of the congressman to always support every agency’s program and services.

In a related development, DOLE-CAR Regional Director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman said that DOLE will continue to be at the forefront in empowering every Filipino to have a decent and gainful means of employment and livelihood moreso during this period of pandemic when our economy is adversely affected. We shall see to it that we heal as one as we struggle for survival and recovery, no one will be left behind.

END/Patrick Rillorta with reports from Nelia Lyn Maduli, DOLE Kalinga.