Livelihood rains on typhoon-hit workers on Valentine’s Day

On February 14, 2024, unemployed individuals in the municipality of La Castellana, Negros Occidental, who had been hard-hit by typhoons, were bestowed with a ray of hope as they received livelihood projects supported by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), totaling Php 3,501,263.00.

The initiative, a collaborative effort between DOLE and La Castellana, brought tangible benefits to 208 community members.

This diverse group consisted of parents of child laborers (PCLs), small-scale farmers, tricycle drivers, and unemployed women from the barangays of Cabacungan, Cabagnaan, Puso, Talaptap, and Robles.

Among the beneficiaries, 60 were identified as PCLs. This group was supported with various resources: 16 received a calf each for fattening, 20 were set up with Sari-sari stores to start home-based enterprises, 10 farmers were provided goats for raising, and 14 were given piglets to begin backyard hog fattening operations.

The aim of these projects is not merely to provide a sustainable source of income but also to encourage the withdrawal of their children from child labor.

Women were also given equal opportunities to participate in livelihood programs, with the intention of enhancing their socio-economic standing.

The Women Farmworkers of Barangay Talaptap, for instance, inaugurated a Rice Retailing Project, sparing residents the 8-kilometer journey to La Castellana Public Market for their staple grain.

Furthermore, the Lower Sag-ang Tricycle Drivers Association, which has 87 members, saw the establishment of a Motorcycle Spare Parts Supply project.

This initiative seeks to supply affordable, quality motor parts and accessories within the community.

For the 83 members of the EUROPA Farmworkers Association from Barangay Cabacungan, a new venture has begun with the Fertilizer and Rice Retailing Project. This group is gearing up to trade rice and synthetic commercial fertilizer.

The local government of La Castellana, demonstrating its support, has provided commercial space in the municipality’s Public Market for the Motorcycle Spare Parts Supply and the Fertilizer and Rice Retailing Project via a Deed of Usufruct.

Additionally, beyond the provision of financial aid, the beneficiaries will receive training to sharpen their business management skills, ensuring the viability and growth potential of their new enterprises. This comprehensive approach not only furnishes immediate financial relief but also lays the foundation for enduring economic empowerment.