Former rebel-infested town in Zambo Sur gets P2.7-M livelihood starter kits

LAKEWOOD, Zamboanga del Sur (PIA) – Ninety residents of communities in this town that used to be infested with rebels received livelihood starter kits valued at P2.7 million. The awarding ceremony took place at the Lakewood Municipal Covered Court, facilitated through a collaboration between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its Zamboanga del Sur Field Office and the local government unit (LGU).

Virgilio Tintin, a beneficiary of the program, expressed his gratitude for the starter kit he received.

“Mapasalamaton ko sa DOLE ug kay Mayor Domingo Mirrar sa ilang livelihood program. Daghan kaayo mi nga nalipay kay nakaabot sila sa amo. Nagpasalamat ko sa kabuhayan starter kit nga nadawat namo ug amo gayud kining ampingan (I am thankful to the DOLE and to Mayor Domingo Mirrar for their livelihood program. We are very happy that they reached us. I am grateful for the livelihood starter kit that we received, and we will truly take care of it),” he said.

Angelita Amaran, another recipient of the starter kits, is grateful, as these kits would help her provide for her children’s needs. “Kining starter kits dugang panginabuhian namo matag adlaw ilabina nga aduna koy estudyante. Daghan kayong salamat sa inyong kaayo ug tabang dinhi sa Lakewood (These starter kits will add to our daily livelihood, especially since I have a student. Many thanks for your kindness and assistance here in Lakewood),” Amaran said.

Beneficiaries from Lakewood town happily received livelihood starter kits from the DOLE- Zamboanga del Sur Field Office. Photo Courtesy of DOLE – ZDSFO

DOLE-ZDSFO Provincial Head, Miraflor J. Casanes, witnessed the ceremony and spoke passionately about the initiative, reaffirming their dedication to the hardworking men and women of Lakewood.

“These livelihood kits are not just instruments for economic empowerment; they represent our belief in the potential of every skilled worker to thrive and contribute to the local economy,” Casanes said.

The Kabuhayan Starter Kits encompass a diverse range of tools and equipment tailored to the skills and talents of the beneficiaries. These include provisions for gardening, fish vending, baking and pastries, carpentry, welding, masonry, barber services, printing and photocopying, dressmaking, vulcanizing, cosmetology, and bibingka making.

Beneficiaries received livelihood starter kits from the DOLE- Zamboanga del Sur Field Office. Photo Courtesy of DOLE – ZDSFO

Meanwhile, PESO Manager Edgar A. Ungang highlighted the broader impact of the initiative on the overall development of Lakewood. “This program aligns perfectly with our goal to enhance the economic well-being of our residents. By investing in their skills and providing the necessary resources, we are sowing the seeds of sustainable growth and self-sufficiency,” he said.

The initiative is part of the DOLE’s Kabuhayan Program, which contributes to the government’s agenda of inclusive growth through massive job generation and substantial poverty reduction. The program aims to reduce the vulnerability of poor and marginalized workers to risks by providing them access to grants.

Mayor Domingo V. Mirrar underscored the importance of the partnership with DOLE and urged the beneficiaries to utilize their livelihood kits effectively and ensure the sustainability of the projects. He emphasized that these kits would not only benefit their families but also transform them into self-reliant individuals, generating a regular income through the projects.

This initiative marks a crucial step towards the empowerment and self-sufficiency of the Lakewood community, fostering economic resilience and growth among its residents. (APG/KSA/RVC/HTB/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur/with reports from DOLE-ZDSFO)

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