Shoemaking is one of the strongest assets of the country, especially in Marikina. This is why when the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) saw the need to address poverty and unemployment due to COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, it immediately banked on the said industry to boost promotion of its inclusive growth, entrepreneurship, and community enterprises.

The DOLE – National Capital Region (NCR), through its PAPAMAMARISAN Field Office (PFO), awarded 900,000.00 pesos worth of livelihood packages, which consist of locally made footwear, bags and other leather goods, to some 30 self-employed, unemployed, and displaced workers, on November 11, 2022, at Kapitan Moy, Marikina City.

The awarding of the assistance was done in coordination with the City Government of Marikina’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and the Philippine Footwear Federation, Inc. (PFFI).

Key officials graced the event, including Marikina City Mayor, Hon. Marcelino Teodoro; DOLE-NCR PFO Director II, Ms. Lilibeth T. Cagara; DOLE-NCR Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division, Mr. Rey Sanglay; DOLE-NCR Senior Labor and Employment Officer and Regional Livelihood Program Focal, Ms. Aurora Halcon; DOLE-NCR Senior Labor and Employment Officer and PFO Livelihood Program Focal, Ms. Mary Ann Teneza; Marikina City PESO Manager, Mr. Gil Munar; OIC of Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office, Mr. Noel B. Box; Board Member of PFFI, Mr. Nick Dela Paz; and President’s representative of PFFI, Ms. Cecil Flores.

“Nagpapasalamat ako dahil isa ako sa nabigyan ng privilege na magkaroon ng pang-negosyo hindi lang panandalian kundi lifetime,” said Meriam Bituin, one of the beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries became resellers of the locally made products directly from the shoe manufacturer on a factory price. In return, this will help the local manufacturer promote and market their products.

To equip them in running their own livelihood undertaking, the beneficiaries were trained on simple bookkeeping and business planning.

“Magagamit ko po ito sa pagpapalago pa ng nakuha ko po rito. Maraming salamat po, DOLE and taxpayers,” said Andre Jay Pestano, another beneficiary who happens to be a marketing student.

END / Report and photos by Edelyn Galos and Kristofferson Sta. Cruz