A more sustainable livelihood activity awaits 60 ambulant vendors in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan after receiving from the Department of Labor and Employment P900 thousand 'Negosyo sa Kariton' (Negokart) livelihood assistance, including a micro-insurance and skills training benefits.
The financial assistance will be used for the purchase of vending carts, tools, cooking utensils and raw materials which the beneficiaries can use as start-up capital to boost their existing small vending businesses. All of the beneficiaries will sell fish balls, "kikiam" and other street food in addition to their existing merchandise. Aside from the capital assistance, the beneficiaries will be enrolled in micro-insurance.
Bernadette May Mamitag, Head of the DOLE-Alaminos Field Office, turned over the check to Mayor Martin Raul Sison II at the municipal hall to enhance the livelihood projects to the 60 ambulant vendors under DOLE's Negosyo sa Kariton (Negokart) program.
As its counterpart, the local government unit of Urbiztondo will provide P225 thousand to defray the expenses for the trainings on basic management and food handling and for the business permits and licenses.
Honorina Baga, head of Technical Services and Support Division (TSSD) of DOLE-Regional Office No. 1, said that the Negokart is part of the Kabuhayan component of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP). It aims to contribute to poverty reduction and reduce vulnerability to risks of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized workers.
"One of the reasons for poverty is the lack of productive self-employment activities for our marginalized workers who comprise the bulk of our informal sector workers. Through our Negokart project assistance, we are increasing the capacities for economic improvement of our ambulant vendors in this part of Pangasinan," TSSD chief Baga said.
She said the Negokart assistance will help in increasing the capital of the beneficiaries and providing them greater mobility. Also, the beneficiaries will be given social protection through their micro-insurance and will be able to legally operate their small businesses.
"Napakalaking tulong po ang ipinagkaloob ng DOLE at lokal na pamahalaan ng Urbiztondo sa amin. Sa pamamagitan po ng negokart, madadagdagan ang aming kita para sa mas maayos na buhay at pag-aaral ng aking mga anak," Rosalia Caguioa said.
Rosalia, 68 years old, is a widow from barangay Poblacion who has 10 children to support. With a "bilao" on her head, she moves around their barangay to peddle balut, chicharon and peanuts.
Once the vending cart will be awarded to her, Rosalia can bid her "bilao" goodbye and ride it on her way towards her family's brighter future.
Also present during the awarding ceremony were Vice-Mayor Marilyn Sison, Chief Administrative Officer and PESO Manager Benigna Ramos, Labor and Employment Officer Mhel Gaspar and some LGU personnel.
Source: Philippine Information Agency