WITH Labor Day for the formal sector falling under the month of May, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also found it fitting to dedicate a day to celebrate the informal sector work force.

Based on National Statistics Office’s (NSO) Labor Force Survey on workers on the informal sector in 2011, it has been seen that about 41.1% or 15.3 million of the total employed are from the informal economy or those working in “unincorporated household enterprises, informal own-account enterprises, and enterprises of informal employment basically owned and operated by own-account workers,” to name a few.

Last May 23, more than 100 cooperative and organization members of the informal sector in Davao Region who are also the department’s beneficiaries recently participated in the Labor Day Celebration for the Informal Sector at the Apo View Hotel.

During the event, DOLE XI also launched its compendium on the successful livelihood stories entitled “Winning Informality.”

In his opening message, DOLE OIC-Assistant Regional Director Jason P. Balais expressed his gratitude on the informal sector members in helping the department in reaching more people.

“Ang pag-ambit nako sa inyo kay ang among dakong pasalamat kay kung wala mo ang among trabaho sa pag-reach out sa among informal sector kay dili mahitabo, dili maplastar para mapaabot nila ang atong mga programa (We would like to express our big thanks to you (coops and organizations) because if not for you, we will not be able to reach the informal sector workers, we cannot place and let them access our programs),” he said.

This was also backed up by DOLE XI Technical Services and Support Division Chief Neil Allan R. Baban in his message saying: “Gatuyok ang ekonomiya tungod sa income na inyong na-generate, dako kaayo mo ug papel diri sa ekonomiya mao nang naga-celebrate ta aning Labor Day para mapakita sa inyo kung unsa mo ka- (the economy is rotating through the income that you generate, you have a big role in this economy that is why we are celebrating this Labor Day to let you know that you are important).”

 “Dili kamo ang nanginahanglan namo, kami maoy nanginahanglan ninyo para maabot namo ang katawhan (You are not the ones who need us, we need you in order for us to reach people),” he added.

During the event, some DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) assisted beneficiaries from the different provinces in the region shared their success stories.

The beneficiaries include: Magsaysay Association of Persons with Disability (MAP, Inc), Nagkahiusang Gagmayng Mangingisda sa Mati Alang sa Kalambuang Federation, Inc (NFI), Rehoboth Association from Panabo City, Callawan Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (CALFAMCO) from New Bataan, Compostela Valley and Davao Ventures Incorporated (DAVECO) in Davao City.

CALFAMCO manager Evelyn P. Abonero, one of the presenters, shared how their coop which ventured mainly in garments making managed to rise after being severely affected by Typhoon Pablo in 2012.

Abonero expressed her thanks to the department for its assistance after the calamity destroyed their building affecting their business. With their hard work she said that they have successfully “risen after the storm.”

Other than the sharing of stories and music and dance presentations, DOLE XI also awarded Artes de San Vicente at the Best Livelihood Assisted Project in the region and awarded 13 certificates of entitlement.

Kriztja Marae G. Labrador/LCO-DOLEXI