The Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR), through its Quezon City Field Office (QCFO), awarded Kabuhayan packages to 107 community members of the Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish (OLAP) and Caritas Novaliches on December 13, 2022 at OLAP, Mindanao Avenue, Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

Said awarding is the first of four batches which gave out bigasan livelihood assistance to beneficiaries who have lost jobs due to the adverse socio-economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his welcoming remarks, Rev. Fr. Joseph Buslon explained that it was DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma who initiated the awarding by advising them to reach out to DOLE-NCR.

 

Rev. Fr. Joseph Buslon expressed his hope that the given assistance will be maximized to its fullest because not everyone is given the same opportunity. He also thanked all involved individuals for making the awarding possible.

 

“Hindi po ito magiging makabuluhan kung wala ‘yung mga tao na galing sa DOLE na ginamit pong instrument ng Diyos para kayo ay makatanggap ng bigasan,” he said.

Meanwhile, DOLE-NCR Assistant Regional Director Jude Thomas Trayvilla stressed that even though he was assigned to give the inspirational message, it is actually him who was inspired by the beneficiaries because of their fighting spirit.

DOLE-NCR Assistant Regional Director Jude Thomas Trayvilla shared his admiration towards the beneficiaries’ conviction to rise above the challenges. For this, the labor department is also determined to provide as much assistance as it can so that Filipinos can be contributing members of the country.

 

“Suffering kasi it develops perseverance, perseverance develops a tested character, a tested character is something that gives us hope, and hope is the reason why we get up every morning to battle another day of suffering na naman.”

DOLE-NCR TSSD-EPWW Officer-in-Charge Rey Sanglay also graced the event to witness the releasing of 1,926 sacks of rice––18 sacks per beneficiary.

A total of 2,140,000.00 pesos was allocated for the first batch of awarding.

1 of the 107 beneficiaries is Mr. Aurelio Evangelista, a 55-year-old barbecue and bananacue vendor before the pandemic. Unfortunately, due to the restrictions brought about by the virus, he lost his source of income.

 

Mr. Aurelio Evangelista and his wife became unemployed because of the pandemic. With their 2 kids also in their mind, they tried different sources of income – selling bedsheets, working in a factory, among others.

 

Even after resorting to being a construction worker, his income is still insufficient for his family of 4.

“DOLE po ang binigay ng Panginoon upang ako ay makatanggap ng hanapbuhay. Talagang aayusin ko po ito para hindi naman masayang ang tulong nila sa akin,” he said when asked of what he has to say to the labor department.

“Ginagarantiya ko po na hindi manghihinayang ang DOLE sa gagawin ko pong hanapbuhay. Maraming maraming salamat po kasi isa po ako sa binigyan ninyo ng panibagong pag-asa,” he added.

To officially close the event, QCFO Director Martin Jequinto thanked all participants who made the event possible, especially DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma. He also said that the Department will continue to monitor the beneficiaries’ progress to ensure that the assistance is being utilized properly.

“We would like to thank Secretary Laguesma and OLAP for making this Bigasan Project possible. We hope that it will be the start of a fruitful labor for our beneficiaries, and we also hope that today’s collaboration with our partners will continue for the purpose of building a stronger community,” he said.

END / Esteban Chua Jr. with photos by Gladys Lopez and Esteban Chua Jr.