DOLE livelihood, employment aid help FRs reintegrate and start anew
06 August 2021
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‘KABUHAYAN PARA SA LAHAT’. The beneficiaries of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) or Kabuhayan Program received their livelihood starter kits for rice trading business.

     Thousands of former rebels (FRs), including their families, have already benefited from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)’s livelihood and employment assistance according to the Labor Assistant Secretary Frederico Abuan Jr.

     During his interview on Task Force Balik-Loob’s radio program, “Balik-Loob sa Pagbabago,” Asec. Abuan, Assistant Secretary for Wages and Productivity, Legislative, Advocacy and Internal Auditing Cluster of DOLE, reported that there are already 2,661 FRs assisted under the Kabuhayan Program, and 6,177 FRs were provided with emergency employment assistance under the TUPAD Program.

     Kabuhayan Program, or the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP), is one of the two components of DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) that aims to provide livelihood assistance to members of the working poor and marginalized sector, including former rebels, and support their individual or group livelihood projects.

     Under the Kabuhayan Program, FRs receive working capital in the form of equipment, tools, and raw materials. They also undergo a series of training depending on what skills and knowledge they need for their livelihood project, such as entrepreneurship development, productivity, occupational safety and health. Moreover, beneficiaries are also provided with Group Personal Accident Insurance (GPAI), a micro-insurance that provides financial protection from various risks and hazards incurred at work.

     The other component of DILEEP is the TUPAD Program or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers Program. It provides temporary wage employment to displaced workers or those whose earnings were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beneficiaries of TUPAD receive wages equivalent to the highest minimum wage in the region, safety and health orientation, personal protective equipment (PPE), and micro-insurance.

      According to Asec. Abuan, DOLE has distributed a total of Php 38,004,416 worth of Kabuhayan assistance and Php 25,385,106 worth of emergency employment assistance since 2016 up to the first quarter of 2021.

     Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Asec. Abuan assures former rebels that the Labor Department will always extend its array of programs to help them reintegrate in the society. "Kami dito sa DOLE, tuloy-tuloy po [ang serbisyo]. Kung may mga magbabalik-loob na ating mga kapatid na [former rebels], bukas po ang pinto ng DOLE, kung anuman ang maitutulong namin,” Asec. Abuan said.

     “Kahit limited man ang DILEEP at TUPAD, tuloy-tuloy pa rin naming ibibigay ang aming magagawa at tulong kahit maiksi na lamang ang taon na natitira. Sana dumami pa ang dumulog sa amin, ang mga magbalik-loob. Dahil pag mas marami, mas masaya," he added.