vendor in Southern Leyte thrives through DOLE’s livelihood program
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
September 19, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its DOLE
Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) has steadfastly provided
livelihood to the needy and deserving informal workers throughout
Among the many
beneficiaries of the program is Melfo O. Bitor, a 28-year-old former
saleslady from Sogod, Southern Leyte, who tried her luck selling
fishball and kikiam with a capital of only P150.00.
In February 2021, Melfo
received from DOLE Regional Office No. 8 through the Southern Leyte
Field Office (SLFO) a livelihood starter kit for her street food
business worth P12,310.00.
Armed with gratitude and
determination, Melfo strived to manage her business well and
eventually gained success. The assistance from DOLE paved the way
for the living condition of her family to improve, earning a net
income of P2,500.00 per day.
From the income she earned
from one vending cart situated at the Sogod Terminal, Melfo was able
to buy another food cart which she placed beside a department store
As life isn’t always
perfect, Melfo and her family encountered so many challenges along
the way. Her husband was hospitalized due to COVID, and their house
sustained heavy damages because of the typhoon Odette that struck
the province of Southern Leyte last December 2021. These exhausted
her savings but Melfo did not lose sight of her goal and managed to
rise above the problems.
Presently, Melfo opened
her third street food branch fronting another department store in
Sogod, this time, not only a food cart but a snack house where
customers can dine-in and enjoy their favorite street food.
From fishball and kikiam,
Melfo now offers a variety of snacks such as potato fries, kwek-kwek,
siomai and some refreshments. Her small-scale business is now a
sought-after street food in their place.
Looking back on how she
started, Melfo couldn’t help but shed tears of joy.
“Hindi ko po inakala na
magiging ganito kami. Ang hirap talaga nung una, dahil maliit lang
ang kita naming mag-asawa. Yung bahay namin noon halos
napagkakamalan po na bahay ng baboy. Pero dahil po sa tulong ng
DOLE, nag-iba at gumaan ang buhay namin. Natutugunan na namin ang
aming mga pangangailangan at nakakatulong pa kami sa iba”, Melfo
livelihood project is just one of the many testimonies that DOLE’s
livelihood program is indeed instrumental in improving the lives of
the workers that the department ought to serve.
(with a report from