The livelihood assistance, sourced from the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), were in forms of Negosyo sa Kariton (NegoKart) Projects and DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kits.
Bello was joined by Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun and Olongapo City Mayor Raulen Paulino in the initial distribution of 50 NegoKarts amounting to some P750,000.00.
Fifty ambulant vendors, 25 from Subic town and the remaining 25 from Olongapo City, received the NegoKart project which are either enhanced or start-up roving cart businesses with add-on items like fishballs, squidballs, kikiam, “kakanin,” and merienda foods.
DOLE Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione said that beneficiaries who were provided with NegoKarts underwent the DOLE’s Entrepreneurship Development Training (EDT) to ensure the proper management of their businesses.
“Each vendor-beneficiary was provided with a total of P15,000.00 in livelihood assistance. This consists of a vending cart and accessory livelihood tools costing P12,500.00, along with a working capital amounting to P2,500.00,” Dione explained.
Secretary Bello also handed over a P2,000,000.00 livelihood check for 100 NegoKarts to benefit 100 ambulant vendors. Of the said total, the amount of P1,500,000.00 was provided through the Municipality of Subic’s bottom-up budgeting (BUB).
The remaining P500,000.00, under the DOLE’s regular livelihood funds, on the other hand, will be intended for 100 starter kits to benefit 100 marginalized individuals. The starter kits are start-up carry-on businesses which include slipper retail, manicure, pedicure, foot-spa, hair cutting, massage therapy, and other health and wellness businesses.
Bello likewise handed out another P1,050,000.00 livelihood check, made possible through the Olongapo City Government’s BUB, intended for 70 NegoKarts to benefit 70 ambulant vendors residing in the city.
Bello encouraged the beneficiaries to manage their livelihood projects in hopes of transforming them into sustainable businesses.
“Ang tulong pangkabuhayan na ibinahagi po sa inyo ng DOLE, tulad nitong mga NegoKarts at Starter Kits, ay isang tuloy-tuloy na hakbang ng gobyerno sa pagbibigay ng alternatibong pagkakakitaan at pangkabuhayan para sa ating mga kababayan upang maitaas nila ang antas ng kanilang pamumuhay at higit sa lahat ay makatulong sa kanilang mga pamilya. Pahalagaan ninyo ito at pagyamanin,”Bello said.
Mayor Paulino, on behalf of his fellow local leaders, thanked Bello and the rest of the DOLE, for personally handing out the livelihood assistance to their respective constituents.
“First time po na mismo ang ating butihing Kalihim ng Kagawaran ng Paggawa at Paghahanapbuhay pa ang bumaba para ipagkaloob ang mga NegoKarts at Starter Kits na ito sa mga kababayan namin dito sa Olongapo at Subic, kaya maraming maraming salamat po Secretary Bello sa inyong oras sa pagbibigay pansin sa aming mga kababayan,”Paulino said.
Meanwhile, for Luzviminda Gimeo, one of the beneficiaries, the livelihood assistance is the best gift to receive at the start of the New Year.
“Napakalaking tulong po sa amin ang ganitong klaseng proyekto dahil ito po ay makakapagbigay na sa amin ng garantisadong arawang kita mula P200.00 hanggang P500.00 o higit pa, depende po kung may mahalagang okasyon dito sa aming bayan, kaya maraming maraming salamat po sa DOLE at umasa po kayo na ito po ay aming pagyayamanin,”Gimeo said.
The offices of Zambales 1st District Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun and the Olongapo City Government, through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO), initiated the undertaking with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The NegoKart project and Kabuhayan Starter Kits are flagship programs of the DOLE that aims to provide decent and sustainable livelihood to benefit and empower marginalized workers.
END/Jerry Borja/Albert Aquino/Arvin Fabian