Department of Labor and Employment – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOLE-CAR) once again claims 1st Place during the Y2022 National Kabuhayan Awards for Best DOLE-Assisted Livelihood Project under the Group Category.

In a ceremony held last May 27, 2022 at the New Coast Hotel, Malate, Manila, delegates and representatives from all over the country participated in the awarding for the Y2022 Awarding of Best DOLE-Assisted Livelihood Projects. Awarding subcategories include Best TUPAD Focal Person, Best Livelihood Focal Person, and Best Regional Local Government Unit (LGU) Implementer, among others.

The DOLE-CAR’s national-winning entry under the group category is the “Mushroom Processing and Production Project” by the YTABUK AGRI-GROWERS ASSOCIATION. Aside from certificates, it received an additional Php 200,000.00 cash incentive. The organization, based in Barangay Laya West, Tabuk, Kalinga, was assisted through the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) last September 02, 2020 in the amount of Php 602,601.00.

The 51-member association grows local organic mushrooms which are processed into sumptuous mushroom chicharon (approved by DTI under “ONE TOWN ONE PRODUCT”), mushroom pasta, chili-garlic oil, tocino, achara, shanghai, bagoong, pulvoron, gourmet, pastillas, vinegar, to name a few.

Headed by its president, Ms. Alma Mae Bangelan-Cortez, the YTABUK was organized last September 30, 2019 to aid fellow residents of Kalinga who were mostly living below the poverty line. Throughout the pandemic, the group thrived by partnering with various organizations-and continued its mushroom production and sales.

During the Y2022 National Kabuhayan evaluation process, the organization was short-listed in the top five (5) nominees for the Y2022 Kabuhayan DOLE-Assisted Livelihood Projects under the group category.  It proceeded to the next level of deliberations late April for the national awards.  It was concluded by the National Screening and Selection Committee (NSSC) composed of the Asst. Secretary for Regional Operations and Special Concerns Cluster as Chairperson, the Director of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) as Vice-Chairperson, and the Heads of the Financial and Management Service (FMS) and Internal Audit Service (IAS).

The region’s individual category representative was Ms. Clarita Lapitan a market vendor at Kalinga, whose livelihood project was the processing of red eggs. As her business slowly increased, she involved her family members in their livelihood which exponentially increased their monthly income. She received an additional Php 50,000.00 for being the region’s representative in the individual category.

Criteria for both individual and group categories include: 25% Relevance as shown by the project’s responsiveness to the needs of the beneficiaries and community; 25% Effectiveness based on good project management, production of quality services or products, and adoption of effective marketing practices to contribute to its success; 25% Efficiency as seen by the generated finances meeting its expenses; and 25% Impact focusing on its socio-economic effect to the community and beneficiaries.

Ms. Amaranth Abalos of DOLE-Mt. Province Field Office, and Ms. Grace Bandayrel of DOLE-Abra Field Office were awarded as Regional Best Implementer of TUPAD and Livelihood respectively, receiving a certificate and Php 14,000.00 each. The LGU of Kabugao, Apayao, represented by Bensmar Ligwang received the award for the Best Regional Implementer and an incentive of Php 40,000.00.

The DOLE-CAR representatives during the ceremony are Assistant Regional Director Atty. Anthony Wooden, Jr., TSSD Chief George Lubin, Jr., DILP Focal Person Joyette Alonzo and TUPAD Focal Person Lydia Rodas, DOLE-KFO Head Avelina Manganip PhD., Emmanuel Barcellano, and Ma. Lourdes Canseco.

The 3-day event similarly highlighted a product/service exhibit of the regional winners which showcased their project profile, and product pictures or samples.


END//Daryll B. Ponard