Employment situation in the National Capital Region (NCR) was affected by the health crisis as the said region’s economy is dependent on the growing Services Sector. Prior to the pandemic outbreak in 2020, NCR’s employment rate was at 93.7 percent and continued to decrease at 87.7 percent even with the gradual opening of its borders and economy in the mid part of 2020. At present, NCR’s employment rate increased at 92.5 percent as a result of the convergent approach of the government to address economic concerns in Metro Manila.

One of the mandates of the Department is to promote self-employment to contribute to employment generation that will lead to economic development. Thus, the Department of Labor and Employment – NCR trained some of its 56 livelihood beneficiaries on June 28-29, 2022 at the Ramada Hotel – Manila to strengthen their capacities in managing their entrepreneurial undertakings. DOLE-NCR’s livelihood focal persons in the field offices also participated.

As the activity’s resource speaker, Mr. Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes, DOLE-NCR’s senior labor officer of the Employment Promotion and Workers’ Welfare Division led the session on entrepreneurship while fellow labor officers Mr. Eduardo Orendain and Ms. Monique Santiago from the DOLE Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) discussed simple bookkeeping and requirements and processes of the DOLE Kabuhayan Awards.

For her part, Ms. Aurora E. Halcon, also a senior labor officer and regional focal of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program discussed the report preparation and documentation of projects for livelihood assistance. Ms. Eloisa Santos and Ms. Angelique Joseph of said Division facilitated the activity.

In his presentation, Delos Reyes also stressed the importance of knowing the economic profile of the region or the locality prior to engagement in any business undertakings. He also gave tips in using technology to maximize its advantages on e-commerce. Likewise, the BWSC representatives engaged the livelihood beneficiaries in records keeping and emphasized its importance to monitor their income while the discussions in the Kabuhayan Awards managed to entice the attendees to inquire and appreciate the technical aspect of the competition’s requirements.

Beneficiaries also shared their experiences. One beneficiary, a beautician who almost lost everything during the pandemic, shared his previous struggles; adding further that he was forced to sell most of his equipment just to make ends meet. However, with determination to convert his hardships to hard work, he then sought the assistance of DOLE to help restart his business. He then thanked DOLE-NCR for providing the needed materials and proudly mentioned of the re-opening of his new salon in the coming months.

For years, DOLE-NCR, together with the local government units and Public Employment Service Offices, mentored successful livelihood beneficiaries—notable of which are Ms. Hemedina Calingacion who owns the Masville Scrap to Riches (MS2R) in Paranaque City and the urban mushroom farming of BARBU owned by Ms. Fernina Reboredo in Valenzuela City.

END / Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes