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DOLE granted P152-K in livelihood grant to 33 NCR informal sector workers

Informal sector in the Philippines
Informal sector in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – In 2011, Franklyn Miranda, a former factory worker who studied welding at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), received a welding machine from the Department of Labor and Employment-National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) under its Livelihood Enhancement Assistance Program.

Making the most of what was given to him, Miranda made sure that the products he crafted were of the finest quality. His big break came in October 2013 when he was awarded a contract by the SM Mall of Asia to decorate the mall premises in time for the Christmas season. To help him out in the contract and to spread the good opportunity, he hired 15 welders to work on the project for 45 days. The SM Mall of Asia management was so pleased with Miranda and his team’s work that it recommended him to other SM malls.

Miranda shared his story with 33 new beneficiaries of the DOLE Livelihood Enhancement Program recently, during the awarding by the DOLE-NCR CAMANAVA Field Office of a P152,620 livelihood assistance grant held at the Marulas Covered Court in Valenzuela City.

On hand to listen to him were Congressman Magi Gunigundo, Brgy. Marulas Chairman Adel Gunigundo, and the head of the DOLE-NCR CAMANAVA Field Office, Director Andrea Cabansag. The beneficiaries, all from the informal sector, received raw materials, equipment, and supplies worth P152,620. “This livelihood grant is essential for the beneficiaries’ chosen livelihood undertaking, such as auto mechanic repair, poultry, vegetable, meat vending, tailoring, and shoes and umbrella repair,” said Director Cabansag in a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz and DOLE-NCR Regional Director Alex Avila.

In a message to the 33 informal sector workers, Secretary Baldoz said the program does not end in the award of the raw materials, supplies, and equipment. She posed a challenge to each beneficiary to make good in their business. “Your success is DOLE’s accomplishment. Above anything else, we would like all beneficiaries of DOLE livelihood programs to succeed in their chosen undertakings, to help uplift their lives, and thus enable them provide livelihood to the people in their communities.” she said. “Take care of what was given to you and make it grow. We will help in all ways we can but you also have to work hard and strive,” she added.

Among the beneficiaries who were inspired by Miranda’s story is auto-mechanic Danilo Cruz, who has been working as one for 10 years. While he has a shop, he rents most of his tools and equipment from other auto-mechanics. The DOLE awarded him a drill and a grinder he can use for his business. “Currently, I employ two mechanics, enabling them to finish a full-body car repair in a month.

With the equipment from the DOLE for which I am very thankful, I can hire two more auto-mechanics so they can finish a full-body car repair and painting in just three weeks. I can accept more customers and hopefully, substantially increase the income of my automotive repair shop,” Cruz said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.