ORIENTAL MINDORO – The fisherfolks and farmers residing in Brgy. Milagrosa, Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro, organized under the name Pinagbuklod ng Mangingisda at Magsasaka (PMM), sought Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) assistance in order to augment their family’s income during lean season through the establishment of General Merchandise as an alternative source of livelihood.

Through the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Project (DILP), the association was granted last 14 May 2020 an amount of Php581,605.00 as working capital in the form of raw materials, equipment, tools, and other support services.

PMM President Amelito Albuera, who was very grateful to the said financial assistance from the government, said “Maraming salamat po sa tulong ng DOLE sa pagkakaloob sa aming samahan ng alternatibong pagkakakitaan lalo na sa panahon na taglakas ang dagat at wala sa panahon ng pagsasaka ang aming mga kasapi. Makakatulong din ito sa aming mga kabarangay na sa halip na pupunta pa ng kabayanan para mamili ng iba’t ibang produkto ay dito na sila sa amin bibili. Umasa po kayo na pagsusumikapan po namin na mapalago ang proyektong ito sa tulong ng aming mga kasapi at sa gabay ng Pamahalaang Bayan ng Bulalacao at ng Sangguniang Barangay. Maraming Salamat po muli sa DOLE nawa ay wag kayong magsasawa na tumulong sa lahat ng nangangailangan. Mabuhay po kayo at laging pagpalain ng Poong Maykapal.”

The association members were also thankful to DOLE for giving them the opportunity to uplift their source of income and their quality of life.

Amid pandemic crisis, DOLE MIMAROPA under the leadership of Regional Director Albert E. Gutib ensures support of livelihood income of workers belonging to the informal sector as he mentioned “Dedicated to our mandate (to develop human resources), this first livelihood assistance in OrientaI Mindoro for the year 2020 shows our strong commitment to extend our full means for the affected workers in this trying times and receiving heartfelt messages from our beneficiaries gives our team motivation to continue our genuine public service.”

DILP is a flagship program of the DOLE that provides grant assistance for capacity-building on livelihood and entrepreneurial ventures for vulnerable and marginalized workers.

Director Gutib mentioned that interested groups or individual who wish to avail of the said assistance shall submit their chosen livelihood proposals, subject to evaluation and approval. “We encourage you to consider our livelihood program and submit your viable project proposals”, he said.

Moreover, Ramezes R. Torres, OIC Field Office Head of Oriental Mindoro facilitated the accreditation and funding release of the project.

During the awarding, Torres explained that indeed DOLE is not alone in helping the fishermen and farmers as the project was able to gain support both from DOLE and the local government units in pooling out their resources for the realization of the project.

Torres further advised PMM that DOLE and other stakeholders wanted to see the project in the future as a successful community enterprise in the humble Barangay of Milagrosa and shall serve as a model, in the town of Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro.

The Barangay Local Government Unit of Milagrosa in particular served as the DOLE’s Accredited Co-Partner towards more effective implementation while the Local Government Unit of Bulalacao through its Public Employment Service Office shall monitor the operation of PMM to ensure its progress.

End/Ma. Lesly I. Romero