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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

DOLE awards Kabuhayan starter kits at Labor Day in Isabela City

By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here led on Friday the 113th Labor Day celebration with the awarding of P307,667 worth of Kabuhayan Starter Kits to some 50 beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries, coming from the city’s 20 barangays, received livelihood implements, equipment and start up goods and consumables for food processing and native snacks preparation, sewing and cosmetology, carpentry, and vulcanizing and welding.

Out of the 50 beneficiaries, about half of them turned up for the turnover. The rest of the beneficiaries, however, could still claim their starter kits anytime from the DOLE office.

DOLE-Isabela chief Ian A. Lahi said in an interview that the agency is planning to conduct a gender equality session within the labor month since most of the starter kits beneficiaries are women.

Lahi reminded the workers that aside from looking after their own welfare, they should look after the condition of their employers “in order to achieve a harmonious relationship at the workplace. The need for labor-management cooperation is a must.”

He revealed that when he assumed office last February, there were only three reported violations on labor standards and were already resolved.

The agency also plans to conduct in-plant labor standard orientation and education soon so that the workers will be aware of their rights including the correct compensation they should be receiving.

Moreover, DOLE also reactivated the dormant Tripartite Industrial Peace Council of the city to help the agency in its cause, especially in strengthening the relationship between labor and management and likewise for the management to comply with general labor standards, including work safety and health standards.

Lahi also revealed that the agency has allocated some P800 thousand of the Bottoms-Up Budgeting (BUB) mechanism to help the out-of-school youths of Isabela City. He said that the budget is ready and that the agency is already in the process of preparing the proposal to be submitted to the regional office for approval. The Nagdilaab Foundation was identified as possible conduit of the said project.

Prior to the turnover of starter kits, a cleanup drive at selected main thoroughfares of the city was conducted involving some 100 beneficiaries of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) and a number of starter kits recpients, the labor group of the Isabela port, the police, and some private individuals.

Lahi also disclosed that DOLE would support over 500 SPES beneficiaries in the city this year. The program has been implemented since 1994 and has produced career professionals and successful individuals. In fact, according to DOLE, Isabela City Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar was one of the SPES babies.

This year’s Labor Day theme is “Disenteng trabaho at kabuhayan, alay natin sa bayan.”