DAVAO OCCIDENTAL – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI through its DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) turned over 12 motorized fishing boats with fishing accessories and materials last March 4, 2016 in Barangay Balangonan, Jose Abad Santos (JAS).

The fishing boats, accessories and materials will benefit 80 fisherfolks belonging to 4 associations in the south side barangays of JAS.

The turnover was headed by DOLE XI Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao together with DOLE-DSFO Chief Henry O. Montilla, Leo Ariel A. Pepino, Garneth S. Lucero and JAS municipal councillor Jonathan Chua.

Director Suyao, during his speech, said JAS being one of the barangays in need of development intervention has been tagged by the DOLE as priority to be given livelihood assistance.

“Importante sa DOLE na mahatagan mo ug ayuda sa inyong panginabuhian. Paagi sa among gihatag, naghinaot kita na kamo na ang makapalambo ani giyahan sa pagpaningkamot ug sa pag-ampo, walay imposible (It is important for us to give you livelihood assistance. Through this, maybe you can prosper through hard work and prayers, nothing is impossible,” he said as an encouragement to the beneficiaries.

“We are not expecting for this (fishing boats and materials) today. Thanks to the Department of Labor and Employment,” Chua said.

Alexander Guillermo, one of the beneficiaries, said that they have been asking for help for the longest time but due to their area’s distance they are overwhelmed with the assistance given by DOLE XI.

“Mga pang-fishing nga net lang man unta to among gipangayo wala gyud mi nag-handom na naa pud pump-boat. Gipakita sa DOLE na tinud-anay ilang pag-tabang sa mga tao sa JAS (We only asked for fishing nets and we are not expecting that we will also receive fishing boats. DOLE showed that their help for the people of JAS is genuine.),” Guillermo said.

According to the beneficiaries, DOLE XI is also the first national office who had given assistance in the area.

Prior to the turnover, DOLE-DSFO initially conducted an information caravan in the area last May 5 to 10 to inform the residents of the different programs of the department in order for them to be able to seek of the services of the DOLE which the department aims to deliver.

Through this activity, DOLE-DSFO had seen that milkfish and tilapia breeding are one of the primary sources of livelihood of the residents in the area leading to the turnover that was held.

Kriztja Marae G. Labrador/LCO-DOLE XI