SAN JOSE, Antique – Workers from the informal sector received P4.7 million worth of assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment under the agency’s Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Program.
Among the 287 recipients who gathered at the Evelio B. Javier Gymnasium on Thursday were sacadas (sugarcane plantation workers), indigenous peoples, the LGBT, and returning overseas Filipinos workers, said Melissa Navarra, provincial director of the Labor department.
Among them were livelihood program beneficiaries – 179 were recipients sari-sari (variety) stores; 21, salon; and 87, rice trading.
The rice trading assistance will be given as soon as the processing of the required documents is complete, said Myra Pe of the Public Service Employment Office – Antique.
One of the sacadas, Elmeo Villanueva, was a recipient of a grocery store project in Barangay Tamayok, Patnongon town.
“I have been looking for a new livelihood. I do not want to go back to Negros Occidental anymore as a sugar migrant worker,” he said.
Villanueva has been working as a sacada in Negros Occidental since 1984. “The sari-sari store will really be a big help for me,” he said.
Another recipient of the store project, Nenita Bernabe, said her income will help them buy their family’s needs as well as provide allowance for her schoolchildren.
“I have eight children. The three already married, the rest were still going to school,” said Bernabe, an Iraynon Bukidnon from Laua-an and one of the 11 indigenous people-recipients from her town.
The Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Program seeks to contribute to poverty reduction and lessen the vulnerability to risks of the working poor, vulnerable and marginalized workers, either through emergency employment, and promotion of entrepreneurship and community enterprises. (With Philippine News Agency/PN)