A recent survey revealed that fewer Filipinos have experienced hunger during the last fourth quarter and Christmas of the past year.
Yet, despite the decline, there are still a large number of Filipinos suffering from involuntary hunger.
This has urged local government units, in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and the national government, to establish programs that open opportunities for every family, in order for them to sustain small businesses, which they can use as a source of income.
In November of 2018, over 100 electronic tricycles (e-trike) were distributed by the city of Las Piñas to select tricycle drivers and operators.
Aside from the benefit of reducing pollution within the city, the e-bikes also served as a source of income for the beneficiaries. The city government has also provided free charging stations along the routes.
Aside from the e-bikes, another livelihood program pushed by the city government was the manufacture of “coconet” -- nets made from coconuts.
With the city government providing the weaving equipment, some residents have joined the livelihood program of turning coconut shells and buko husks into a “coconet,” which the city used as a foundation of plants growing in riverbanks.
Usually paired with hot coffee or hot choco, pandesal is not just a breakfast staple prepared by moms and Titas in Malabon City as it has also become their source of income.
The Malabon City government has turned pandesal into a business venture for women, solo parents and persons with disability and called it ‘Pan de Ladies.’
Aside from pandesal, other breads loved by Filipinos, such as the pan de coco and the Spanish bread, are made by inmates with baking experiences from Malabon’s Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
This kind of livelihood has helped the lives of Malabon women in providing for the needs of their family.
“It is truly a blessing to become one of the Pan De Ladies of Malabon! We are proud that even with this small livelihood endeavor, we have helped our family in so many ways,” said one “Pan de Lady.”
Each Pan de Lady is able to get P1,000 cash as a capital, plus other materials such as trolley, large styro-box and uniform for baking, and then selling freshly-baked pandesal within their areas.
Last year, the City Government of Navotas, through its Navotas Hanapuhay Center, started its NavoNegoSerye to empower Navoteños in terms of starting their own businesses as part of its Tulong Puhunan and Tulong Negosyo programs.
NavoNegoSerye is a series of training and programs of livelihood skills expected to encourage the residents of the city to start up a business.
“We want Navoteños, especially those from low-income families, to learn how to start and sustain a business,” Mayor John Rey Tiangco said.
Another program led by the city mayor, in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), is the Navotas Training and Assessment Institute that offers technical-vocational skills, such as bread and pastry making, dressmaking, welding, automotive servicing, and others.
As a result, there are already a large number of Navoteños, who have gained certification from the institute and passed TESDA’s assessment exam.
During the last quarter of the year, the Quezon City government proudly presented 321 residents, who graduated from the city’s Manpower Barangay Based Skills Training Program.
Each of the graduate acquired a three-month training on housekeeping, hilot and wellness, food and beverages services, bread and pastry production, dressmaking, electrical installation and maintenance, cosmetology, home care provider, and productivity skills and capacity building.
Spearheaded by the Social Services Development Department (SSDD)-Vocational Development Division, the program aimed to help QC residents expand their knowledge and open doors of opportunities that will help them sustain a business.
Earlier in June, Quezon City provided skills training for bystanders or in local parlance, ‘tambay.’
Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte encouraged the city’s bystanders to enroll in livelihood training offered by the Quezon City Skills and Livelihood Foundation Inc.
The Vice Mayor believes that these bystanders deserve a second shot as she envisions their worth as a productive citizens of the society.
The city government of San Juan opened the new year with a bang when it conducted the Muslim Traders Entrepreneurship Forum at FilOil Flying V Arena.
The event, led by San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez and graced by Senator JV Ejercito, taught Muslim traders in the metro on how to further expand their businesses.
Meanwhile, last Jan. 14, the Department of Science and Technology turned over a new welding area with shielded metal arc welding training equipment as part of the city’s livelihood programs.
And just like any other city, San Juan also offers TESDA courses and skills training such as caregiving, hairdressing, baking, and electronics for its residents.
One of the most notable livelihood programs in Pampanga is the financial assistance provided by the Social Action Center of Pampanga Inc. (SACOP), which gives financial assistance for the rehabilitation of crops farmers and the establishment of community-based livelihood projects for women.
With the graduation of the assisted community organizations, the program extended micro-finance assistance to enterprising individuals and groups through the provision of working capital for business expansion, purchase of equipment and supplies and support in the expansion of business reach. They also conduct training and workshops for the enhancement of management and financial capabilities.
Adding to SACOP’s programs, Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also led the distribution of livelihood assistance through the Lourdes Tuason De Arroyo Foundation to the indigent residents of the second district of Pampanga.
Arroyo’s Sustainable Livelihood Program includes all towns in the district—Guagua, Lubao, Porac, Floridablanca, Sasmuan, and Sta. Rita.
The Department of Labor and Employment regional office in San Fernando, Pampanga introduced a program to give help to pedicab drivers through its “Padyak Project”.
A total of 25 lucky recipients received livelihood assistance, intended to uplift the town’s poor residents, and were sourced from the labor agency’s DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program otherwise known as “DILEEP.”
More than 1,300 individuals working in informal sectors region-wide also benefitted from DOLE’s DILEEP.
The program seeks to contribute to poverty reduction and reduce the vulnerability to risks of the working poor, marginalized workers either through emergency employment, and promotion of entrepreneurship and community enterprise.
At least P26.2 million funds have been earmarked for the implementation of DILEEP and to enhance the existing livelihood programs of some local entrepreneurs in the region. Of the P26.2 million, P7.86 million will be allocated for the province of Cagayan, P10.48 million for Isabela and P2.62 million each for the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Batanes.
The town of Calamba in Laguna has a close of partnership with government agencies and community partners. Calamba aims to strengthen the culture of entrepreneurship through its Calamba Cooperatives and Livelihood Development Department. Calambeños have access to a different kinds of assistance in terms of education, training, and cooperatives.
Another booming municipality in Laguna is the city of Santa Rosa, which has the Self-Employment Assistance Program, under the City Social Welfare and Development Office. With this program, qualified Rosenians are provided with financial assistance to start a small business.
Family-based Actions for Children and their Environs in the Slums or SDG-FACES is a national program adopted by the City to address issues such as poverty. The program provides beneficiaries/mothers the opportunity to take the lead in achieving several goals, combating economic, social and environmental challenges within the community. This is through pieces of training, seminars and livelihood projects that can help improve the quality of their life and secure their children’s future.
As the economy continues to face challenges, local government units are doing their share to cushion its impact by providing our countrymen the assistance they need.
As an old Chinese proverb says: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
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