DOLE gives P1.7-M aid to typhoon-hit Masbate fishers

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) office in Region 5 (Bicol) has released some PHP1.7 million in livelihood aid to typhoon-affected and displaced fishermen in Dimasalang, Masbate.

In an interview on Wednesday, Johana Vi Gasga, DOLE-Bicol spokesperson, said the assistance is under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).

“The said fund will be used to purchase Kabuhayan Starter Kits or fishing equipment such as new motorized fiberglass boats, gasoline engines, shafting, cross joint, rudder, and other fishing gears to benefit at least 66 affected local fishermen from different barangays of Dimasalang town,” she said.

For her part, DOLE-Masbate Provincial Head, Ma. Ella. E. Verano, said that after Typhoon Jolina hit the province in September, the people have been struggling to get back on their feet and need immediate support to recover.

“In order to help the typhoon victims especially the displaced fishermen to regain their capacity to earn a living, the need for immediate support is necessary and that is why the labor department is here to provide immediate relief through livelihood assistance that will surely bring an array of hope to beneficiaries,” Verano said in a statement.

She said areas like Dimasalang town, where almost one-third of the population relies heavily on fishing activities, were severely affected not only by the natural calamity but also by the prevailing global health crisis.

Meanwhile, DOLE-5 Regional Director Ma. Zenaida Angara-Campita said, “Tuloy-tuloy po ang suporta at ayuda ng DOLE-Bicol sa ating mga manggagawa na naapektuhan ng bagyo, ganun din po sa mga dumaranas ng malaking pagsubok dahil sa coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Asahan po ninyo na palagi kaming nandito, taos-pusong maglilingkod sa inyong lahat sa abot ng aming makakaya. (Help and support from DOLE-Bicol is continuously extended to our workers particularly those who are affected by typhoon and those who are suffering from Covid-19. Rest assured that we are always here, whole-heartedly serving you as much as we can).”

Likewise, she said DOLE-Bicol is targeting to help another fishing community in Cawayan, Masbate thru a project proposed by an association dubbed “Fish Tapa Production” that aims to help the residents mitigate the impact of the typhoon as well as contribute to their food security and resilience amid the challenges brought by the pandemic.

“Our efforts in bringing livelihood programs and employment opportunities to typhoon-affected individuals and workers may not be enough, but we will extend all the possible ways to handhold them until they are back on their feet and fish again, so they can be able to provide adequate food and income-support for their families,” Campita added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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