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83 individuals receive starter kits worth P1.5M amid pandemic

Cagayan de Oro City --- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-X) Cagayan de Oro City Field Office (CDO FO) together with the Skills Mastery Institute for Learning, Employment/Entrepreneurship and Success (SMILES) Foundation, Incorporated, as the Accredited Co-Partner facilitated the release of livelihood assistance through starter kits worth PhP1,585,000.00 to 83 beneficiaries during a ceremonial turnover on 23 July 2020.


The beneficiaries from various sectors of the community are recipients of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP), namely: 63 parents of child laborers, profiled thru 2019 Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP); 15 displaced individuals from barangay Balulang due to Typhoon Sendong; and some five other displaced/disadvantaged workers.


DOLE-X CDO FO Chief Ebba Borbon-Acosta advised the beneficiaries to maximize use of financial livelihood assistance granted by government especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the beneficiaries, Ms. Acosta highlighted, “You are lucky to benefit from the DOLE’s livelihood program because there are numerous applications received by our office for livelihood assistance mostly from those affected by the pandemic economically. I am encouraging you all to passionately utilize the opportunity in your endeavors to sustain and augment your respective incomes,” Chief Acosta said.


All the beneficiaries underwent series of training on basic marketing and financial aspects in a small business conducted by the SMILES Foundation, Inc.


“We do not want our beneficiaries to just receive and implement their livelihood aid by DOLE-X. Instead we want to mold them to be successful entrepreneurs, at least just the basic ones, before we will hand-over their starter kits.  This is an assurance to our beneficiaries that we will assist them in the whole duration of the program,” SMILES Foundation, Inc. Executive Director Dr. Antoniolito Ll. Estrella, PhD said.


Likewise, both the foundation as ACP and the beneficiaries were thankful of the opportunity of serving the marginalized sector for the ACP; and opportunity to have a small business for the beneficiaries.


“Daku kayo ko ug pasalamat sa DOLE ug sa SMILES kay tungod kanila na hatagan ko ug higayon na maka negosyo labi na karong panahona na nay pandemic, dili kaayo mi maka-pangita ug kwarta aron mabuhi akong pamilya ug wala gyud ko magdahom na mahimo kong negosyante, puhon kung mulambo kining starter kit na gihatag sa akoa,” Sari-Sari Store livelihood beneficiary Meriam Degadong said. (I am very thankful to DOLE and SMILES for giving me the opportunity to venture into business especially in this time of pandemic which adversely affected our income to sustain my family and I did not expect that I will become a businesswoman especially if this starter kit is successful.)


The ceremonial turn-over was held at the SMI Campus 2, Barangay Nazareth with only 10 beneficiaries present instead of 83 due to the community quarantine regulations by the Inter-Agency Task Force.  SMILES Foundation handed-over the starter kits to the beneficiaries per batch to comply with the safety and health protocols.


The DILP Kabuhayan Program is DOLE’s contribution to the government’s agenda of inclusive growth through massive job generation and substantial poverty reduction.  It seeks to reduce vulnerability of the poor and marginalized workers.


End/Mary Joyce Abragan-Harnaiz with additional report from Peter Randy C. Gaquit/DOLE-X




DOLE- X CDO FO Chief Ebba Borbon-Acosta (standing, center) gives her inspirational talk to the beneficiaries granted with livelihood starter kits on 23 July 2020 in SMI Campus 2, Barangay Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City. (Photo source: DOLE-X/ CDO FO)




(From left) DOLE-X CDO FO DILP Focal Person Roy Casiño,; Teodoro Alfora, SMILES Foundation Finance Manager; Anunciacion Prospero SMILES Project Manager; Meriam Degadong, Sari-sari store beneficiary; Ebba Acosta, Chief DOLE X CDO, Niño Contreras-Office of the Special Asst. to the President; Antonio Estrella-SMILES Executive Director during the ceremonial turnover of livelihood


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