By Raymart Escopel
ILOILO City – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Western Visayas has funded a total of 65 proposals for the first quarter of 2014, a double increase against year ago’s numbers.
The first quarter of 2013 registered a total of 37 funded projects, according to DOLE-6 Regional Director Ponciano Ligutom.
He added that the amount of assistance also increased to 65 percent from P17,550,896 in 2013 to P28,863,332.36 this year.
This year’s project proposals are expected to benefit a total of 5,251 workers who mostly belong to the informal economy, unemployed and displaced workers, parents of child laborers, sugar workers, and vulnerable sector workers.
The province of Iloilo has scored 42 projects out of 65. These projects are under the programs on Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB), and Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD).
The projects are totaling to P15,177,544.20 and is expected to benefit 2,772 citizens belonging to the informal sector, vulnerable workers and out-of-school youth.
These include the enhancement of the Miag-ao Garment Industry; mechanization of bio-organic fertilizer production; restoration of the goat and native chicken industry; coconut industry development project; and skills training & livelihood program on beauty culture, nail care services and therapeutic massage, among others.
For the province of Negros Occidental, a total of P9,302,499 budget will be given to fund 13 projects that will benefit 1,484 citizens especially the sugar workers in the cities of Escalante, Sagay, Cadiz, Bago, Silay, and Kabankalan, as well as in the towns of Hinigaran, Hinobaan, Toboso, and Ilog. These projects include common farming & service facilities; farm animals & collective consumer stores; enhancement of production of Lemon Grass Essential Oil; and livestock production, among others.
Meanwhile, Capiz has six projects with a total of P1,897,417.16. The said projects will be benefited by 340 graduates of skills training on Basic Arc Welding as an establishment for livelihood. The funded projects for Capiz will also benefit sugar workers in the towns of President Roxas and Pontevedra as well as in the city of Roxas.
Antique has two projects with a total cost of P917,090 and is expected to benefit 178 citizens working as sacadas in the municipalities of Culasi, Barbaza, Tibiao, and Pandan.
The province of Aklan has four funded projects worth P2,144,248 which are projected to benefit 522 people especially in the towns of Malinao, Buruanga, Numancia, and Kalibo.
Guimaras, on the other hand, has one project to address de-clogging/de-silting of waterways and rehabilitation of mangroves. The said project has a total cost of P424,473 under the GPB and is projected to benefit 148 unemployed and displaced workers in the province.
Aside from the 65 proposals for the regular program, the Department has also funded 147 project proposals under the “Yolanda” Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Program (YRRP) worth P49 million./PN