The Department of Labor and Employment – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOLE-CAR) reaches out to Abra informal sector worker-beneficiaries during the awarding of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Assistance Program (DILP) last June 30, 2021, at San Juan and Bangued, Abra.

DOLE-CAR Regional Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra, CESO III, highlighted that the Integrated Livelihood Program or the Kabuhayan Program is a means of bridging people’s organizations from far flung barangays in the Cordillera toward community empowerment and development. He added that cooperation between the local government units (LGUs) and government agencies is a step towards economic sustainability.

The recipients of DOLE DILP included farmers of San Juan with 59 workers from Silet Farmers Association and 69 from Amianan San Juan Farmers Association. A total amount of P 1,999,768.00 in the form of farm implements and rental services for farming equipments was provided as support.

The rental service assistance is for farming materials including machines or equipments like hand tractors, water pumps, and grass cutters.

Similarly, 317 farmers from Bangued were assisted through its Local Government Unit (LGU) as an accredited co-partner (ACP). The farmers were supported through Republic Act No. 10351 (RA 10351) or “An Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco Products by Amending Sections 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 8, 131 and 288 of Republic Act No. 8424, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as Amended by Republic Act No. 9334, and for Other Purposes”, which is more commonly known as “Sin Tax Fund.”

Assistance is in the form of funding for the rental service of farming equipment for 317 workers of three associations, 121 workers from the Riverside Farmers Association, 132 workers from the Brgy. San Antonio, Bangued Farmers Association, Inc., and 64 workers from the Macray Farmers Association, with a total amount of P 1,695,952.00 as DOLE counterpart, inclusive of insurance.

Under Department Order 173, series of 2017 (DO 173-17), parents of child laborers are also eligible beneficiaries, thus individual livelihood assistance was given to 20 parents of child laborers; 7 of which are from Villaviciosa, 5 from Sallapadan, and 8 from Lagayan, amounting to P 399,354.00. Nineteen of the recipients started a small piggery project while one started a small retail/sari-sari store.

In line with the whole of nation approach to end the communist insurgency in the country, and in order to transform the lives of the former rebels through various interventions; livelihood packages for retail/sari-sari stores and hog raising projects were given to three rebel returnees in Abra, with a total amount of P 74,435.00 in raw materials or starter kits.

RD Lacambra also noted that the Abra Field Office provided the beneficiaries with appropriate technical assistance in the registration of their association, identification of feasible project-proposals, and implementation of their livelihood projects. These projects are regularly evaluated via an excel-based monitoring system, to help improve the lives of the beneficiaries, and the delivery of services to them.

DOLE-CAR continues to uphold its mandate of promoting gainful employment opportunities, through programs that are aimed at enhancing the present entrepreneurial activities of the identified informal workers thus uplifting their socio-economic status so they can become more productive in their own little way.

END//Daryll Ponard with reports from Abra Field Office