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P3.2M worth of Kabuhayan packages released in Northern Samar

DOLE Kabuhayan packages

July 30, 2021

CATARMAN, Northern Samar – The Department of Labor and Employment Northern Samar Field Office (DOLE-NSFO) here recently released over P3.2 million pesos worth of livelihood projects benefitting some 96 unemployed and disadvantaged workers from the municipalities of Bobon and Catarman.

Formal turn-over ceremonies followed with the actual distribution of project equipment and raw materials were each held on 22 and 23 July 2021 in Brgy. Cervantes, Catarman, and in Bobon, Northern Samar, respectively. DOLE-NSFO Chief and Provincial Head Patria A. Bigcas, Bobon Municipal Administrator Rene Celespara, and Cervantes Punong Barangay graced the events.

The projects consisted of various Kabuhayan packages amounting to a maximum of P30,000 pesos worth of tools, jigs, raw materials, and other equipment for the approved Kabuhayan Starter kits. They include Sari-Sari Store Kabuhayan Package, Food-processing Business, Rice-Retailing, Bakery Production Project, Barbecue Making, Fish Vending, Tailoring, Welding, Piggery and Poultry Raising, among others.

The 96 beneficiaries which were composed mostly of parents of child laborers, were identified and prioritized based on the Child Labor Profiling Program held in 2019 by the DOLE-NSFO in the two municipalities. Ms. Bigcas said the Kabuhayan projects were primarily aimed at helping the beneficiaries create sources of livelihood and thereby enable them to adequately earn incomes needed for their families.

“The immediate and long term objectives of this is to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, the incidence of child labor in the areas,” she added.

In his message, Bobon Municipal Administrator Mr. Rene Celespara thanked DOLE for its “continued support to their poverty-alleviation initiatives.”

He also emphasized that, while the packages are provided as a grant, he reminded the beneficiaries that the project is part of the efforts between the DOLE and LGU to eliminate child labor, and that by providing parents a sustainable means of livelihood, their children can focus on their welfare, health and education, instead of engaging in hazardous work.

Susan Polinas, 64, farmer and mother of thirteen children from Barangay Cervantes, Catarman, Northern Samar, said that she didn't have a choice but to allow one of her children to work as a paid laborer in a nearby construction. “Life is difficult especially now that we barely have coconuts due to constant typhoons,” sighed Polinas.

With the DOLE kabuhayan, however, she hopes that it will help her earn more and provide for the needs of her household.

The DOLE likewise provided the beneficiaries with a crash course on records-keeping to help them sustain their business through proper financial management.

In surveys conducted between 2018 to 2019, more than 80 child laborers were profiled, mostly out-of-school male aged 14 to 17, working in construction, farming and other hazardous occupations. Reasons often cited as to why they sacrifice school and health to earn a living is to support their families by giving money to their parents and buying things for their households.

With the restrictions due to COVID-19 starting to ease, CLP surveys have resumed and are currently on-going.