Forty terminal vendors of Tacurong City got early Christmas presents from the Department of labor and Employment (DOLE) after receiving their livelihood starter kits during the turnover ceremony on September 1, 2014.

DOLE Sultan Kudarat Field Office Head Dominica Millan personally turned over the livelihood assistance to City Mayor Lina Montilla, Vice Mayor Joseph Lechonsito and Sangguniang Panlungsod Chairperson on Labor and Employment Benjamin Fajardo, Jr.

Councilors Rodrigo Jamorabon and Psyche Sucaldito joined the hundreds of employees of the city government as well as the men and women of Tacurong PNP, AFP, BJMP, and Bureau of Fire who were also present during the event.

The turnover ceremony was done in time with the kick-off program for the month-long celebration of the 114th Philippine civil Service Anniversary at the city’s sports and cultural center.

The beneficiaries, who each received a push cart, P2 thousand worth of grocery items, and vest uniforms, are all members of the Tacurong City Terminal Vendors Association (TATVA).

The Kabuhayan Starter Kits Project falls under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) that aims to provide assistance to the informal sector or marginalized self-employed workers with insufficient income. The program is a form of DOLE intervention that seeks to contribute to poverty reduction through promotion of entrepreneurship and community enterprises.

Under the DILEEP, qualified beneficiaries are given tools and jigs instead of cash assistance. This way, the DOLE is assured that the aid given to beneficiaries will be put to use.

DOLE Field Office and the city government, through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), started assisting the beneficiaries last year by organizing them into an association. Upon seeing that the members were committed to their association, they were helped in the preparation of livelihood proposal for submission to DOLE 12.

DOLE Regional Director Ofelia Domingo approved the livelihood proposal of the vendors late last year while the fund for the said project was subsequently released in the second of this year.

TATVA President Maritess Buglosa shared the excitement and gratitude of her fellow vendors for the livelihood assistance they received. She said that the project given to them by the DOLE is a huge income help in augmenting their current income.

“Dahil sa tulong ng DOLE, maiiwasan na naming mga vendors na mangutang sa maliliit na kapitalista para lamang may maipang-rolling sa aming maliit na hanapbuhay sa terminal”, Buglosa said.

Buglosa also thanked Mayor Montilla and the city officials for vouching for them to be recipients of the starter kits. “Kung hindi sa tulong ng city government, hindi namin matatanggap ang napakalaking tulong na ito”, she added.

Mayor Montilla, in her message during the turnover, was all praises to the livelihood program of DOLE. “The Kabuhayan starter kits project is an effective way of augmenting the income of our city’s low-earning population. My gratitude to Director Domingo for giving utmost attention to the needs of our city’s informal sector”, she added. – LGU Tacurong City Information

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