In order to assist in poverty reduction and inclusive development, the Department of Labor and Employment – Cordillera Administrative Region, Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra, CESO III, Technical Services and Support Division Chief George G. Lubin, Jr., and staff travelled to Abatan, Bauko, Mt. Province for the turnover of checks for the beneficiaries of Kabuhayan Programs.

The short program held at the Sangguniang Bayan Hall at Abatan, Bauko, was hosted by Hon. Mayor Abraham B. Akilit, assisted by Bauko PESO Manager Renan Jake D. Oyang-o, with Police Executive Master Sergeant (PEMS) Norma K. Tuaca representing the uniformed personnel of the same municipality.

The fifty-member group beneficiary, Abante Bauko Tour Guides Organization or ABaTGO, was provided with Php 500,000.00 for its project on the Bauko Ecotour Guiding Development. It has partnered with the Municipal Tourism Office through the formulated “Bauko Municipal Tourism Development Plan” in identifying and documenting 92 potential tourist destinations in Bauko, which has been packaged into several tour routes.

The funding assistance will be used for tour guiding gear and equipments, while the Local Government Unit (LGU) will shoulder the capacity building activities worth around Php 100,000.00. Members have been trained in basic mountaineering courses, comprehensive tour guiding courses, safety protocols, standard first-aid and basic life support, having partnered with Philippine Red Cross – Mt. Province Chapter.

The organization has been in operation since 2017, with a steady influx of clients who remarked the astounding tour activities. The project-assistance has a reasonable estimated profit that would benefit its members and their community at barangay Bagnen, as a social intervention for being an identified ELCAC barangay.

Individual beneficiaries included Nally N. Balao, Noveiric L. Lua-an, and Keruben N. Bala-o, who were provided assistance amounting to Php 29,366.00, Php 29,505.00, and Php 29,656.00 respectively for their various vegetable production and marketing projects. The beneficiaries will utilize the funds for fertilizers and farming implements to increase their output on the lots where they have been working on for years. The produce will be sold to vegetable traders at the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center at La Trinidad, Benguet, and to individual traders within the community.

RD Lacambra encouraged the beneficiaries to use their funds wisely and responsibly. He emphasized that collaboration with government programs and projects results in sustainable economic independence and growth, and that cooperation in the community multiplies the results of their hard work. He cautioned against joining identified communist terrorist groups which do not promote the welfare of the locality.

Finally, RD Lacambra also thanked the LGU through Mayor Aklit, and the Mt. Province Public Employment Service Office for their coordination to ensure prompt and efficient delivery of employment facilitation services as well as provision of assistance for the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program.

The beneficiaries and program participants were grateful for the assistance and promised to utilize these resources dutifully.

END/Daryll Ponard