A total of 25.9 million worth of DOLE’s DILEEP grants have been accessed by ABK3 LEAP partner BLGUs to provide livelihoods assistance to 4,182 households. This initiative is part of the project’s efforts to ensure sustained and alternative income sources of assisted households, especially during off season or tiempo muerto in sugarcane farming.
ACCESSING DILEEP FUNDS
The DILEEP (DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Program) is the agency’s contribution to the government’s agenda of inclusive growth through massive job generation and poverty reduction. It aims to reduce the vulnerability of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized workers, including parents of child laborers, to various economic risks through emergency employment (TUPAD) and promotion of social enterprises (KABUHAYAN).
ABK3 LEAP project, in partnership with DOLE Provincial Offices, conducted orientations and project proposal writeshops with local government officials together with representatives of CoMSCAs of the covered barangays. Organized groups of parents through CoMSCAs are ideal beneficiaries of the livelihoods projects since they have already undergone capacity building in financial literacy, business management and organizational development enabling more efficient implementation and monitoring of the projects.
“The projects are intended for the beneficiaries and the barangay serves as the caretaker of the funds. The barangay shall monitor the implementation of the project, while DOLE will do follow ups from time to time. We will also expect reports of the implementation from the barangay, especially with the liquidation process,” Mr. Elmer Gimay, LEO III of DOLE Negros Occidental noted.
The project provided technical assistance to the BLGUs in the preparation and submission of the required documents, including the crafting and passing of ordinances on child labor and ensuring that programs catering to the needs and well-being of child laborers are included in the barangay development plan. Once a proposal is approved, DOLE turns over the grant to the BLGUs who act as the ACP (Accredited Co-Partner). Moreover, BLGUs have committed to support the implementation of the projects by providing counterparts such as capacity building for the beneficiaries and provision of spaces or infrastructure for the enterprises.
DONNA’S HOPE RENEWED
Donna is one of the 65 women CoMSCA members in Brgy. Badiangon, President Roxas, Capiz benefiting from the DOLE DILEEP Project in their barangay. 15 high speed industrial sewing machines and start-up materials were provided to their group so they can jumpstart their sewing business. The BLGU funded their training and provided a working space for the group. Excited about the project, Donna and the rest of the group posted photos of the curtains they made on social media. After a few days, orders and queries started coming in even from other barangays and municipalities. Now, they are expanding their sewing services to include pillow cases and sports uniforms. Half of the team do the production from Monday – Saturday while the other half is focused on marketing the merchandise.
After Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the province and destroyed houses, gardens and crops in 2013, finding income sources to sustain families’ needs had not been easy. With the sewing business in place, families in Donna’s community who used to rely on sugarcane farming for their daily sustenance now have additional and/or alternative means of income. Each sewer gets a hand at a sewing machine for 3 days a week and gets paid per piece produced. The marketers, on the other hand, profit on a commission basis. The group convenes every last Saturday of the month to review their production and distribute the payout of each member.
Last month, Donna took home about P5,000 from sewing curtains and jerseys, higher than what she used to earn from working as a farm laborer. Now, only her husband works in the sugarcane farms. With only 3 days a week to work in the production, she has more time to care for their 6 young children and even do food vending on the side. Donna is pleased. She is determined to focus and do her best in this new venture. “I hope our business will thrive so I can earn more and be able to send my children to school,” she exclaims with optimism.
Other DILEEP livelihoods projects approved include handicrafts making, livestock raising, farm machineries, rice and agrivet retailing, catering services, and meat processing which are aimed to serve as start-ups or enhancement of their existing group enterprises. 15 million of DILEEP approved funds are benefitting the project’s assisted households in Negros Occidental, the sugar bowl of the country, where more than half of ABK3 LEAP’s assisted households are. Additionally, at least 30 million worth of KABUHAYAN projects are in the pipeline for the next quarter.