The Department of Labor and Employment Caraga Region delegation headed by Assistant Regional Director Atty. Evelyn R. Ramos attended the awarding of DOLE Best Assisted Livelihood Projects at Waterfront Hotel, Ermita, Manila on May 12, 2017. Together with the then OIC Provincial Head of DOLE-Surigao del Sur Field Office; Ms. May C. Velonta and Mr. Raymond Fel F. Sajor, Chief IMSD and the former TSSD Chief.

During the program, Undersecretary Bernard P. Olalia, read the Secretary’s’ congratulatory message to the group and emphasized the purpose of the awards which was to recognize and reward the exemplary performance of the beneficiaries of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) in managing their undertakings and further motivating them to sustain the gains out of the DOLE assistance.

There were two (2) categories of the awards for Group and Individual.  Regional winners for both individual and group were automatic entries for National Awards. All regional winners under individual category received the Plaque of Appreciation and a cash award of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) and the group category regional winners received Plaque of appreciation and a cash award of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00). 

Individual Project

For the individual project category, Ms. Anabelle Cabaña Oropesa, mother of a 16 year-old child laborer in Aras-asan, Cagwait, who was one of the 25 beneficiaries provided with livelihood assistance from DOLE last December 2015 to augment their income and to prevent their children from engaging in any forms of child labor won as the Regional  Best DOLE–assisted project under the Individual Project Category.

Ms. Oropesa’s Sari-Sari Store and Kakanin Business continues to sustain the success of the business from a capital of Five Thousand Pesos (P 5,000.00), the approved amount granted by the DOLE to all parents of child labourers to start their multi-enterprise projects from DOLE last December 2015.

Her sari-sari store, which offers meals, hotcakes, donuts, hardboiled egg, kakanin and other viands and which is strategically located near the river bank primarily caters to the fishermen. Ms. Oropesa has a son who was identified as child laborer who helped fishermen near their residence in docking the boats after fishing or by selling their caught fishes in Brgy. Aras-asan, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur. In 2015, Brgy. Aras-asan has been identified as a beneficiary for the New Frontier Barangay for the Child Labor Free Barangay Program.

Group Project

Pure Ever Drinking Water and Water Refilling Multi-Purpose Association led by Mr. Joselito Soriano in Tabon, Bislig City, was the Regional winner under group category. The group was managed by 101 displaced workers when PICOP Company closed its operation in June 2008.

In 2009, the organization availed the assistance under the DILP and was granted a grant amounting to P805,000.00 enabling them to formally operate a water refilling station with initially 20 pieces plastic containers and eight (8) workers. The following year, through the assistance of the LGU Bislig, the production expanded its operation for 574 pieces of plastic containers. Continuous enhancement has been made, and it was in 2015 that the operation of a branch was opened in Bislig City through the DOLE Enhancement Livelihood Assistance in the amount of P250,000.00.

“The association is aspiring that we can create large project aside from the expansion and we dream to have a commercial drinking beverages which we could venture in the future to generate more employment”,  says Mr. Joselito Soriano.

“It’s my honor and pleasure to be one of the top 3 of the national awards, because having the award is not easy to get, you really need to struggle just to attain such commendation and if given a chance to compete by 2018, we will try our best to be the top one .” Mr.Soriano,–Chair of the association added, after placing 2nd during the national awards for their project; Pure Ever Drinking Water and Water Refilling Multi-Purpose Association.

Accordingly, the awards committee was having a hard time selecting the winner among the entries because the projects are all good as they said, in fact the top 3 for group category has a difference of only two (.2) and three (.3) points.

The following are the national winners both individual and group categories:

  Region Name of Association/Individual
Group Category    
1ST CAR Gabriela Women’s Association
2ND CARAGA Pure Ever Drinking and Water Refilling Multi-Purpose Association
3RD 11 (Davao) Artes de San Vicente
Individual Category    
1ST 11 (Davao) Ms. Sheryl E. Monroid (Nego-Cart: Barbeque)
2ND 12 (Cotabato) Ms. EvelynE. Arandilla (Resto & Catering)
3RD  7 (Cebu) Ms. Abegail Cabanit (Reign Bags)

Prior to the program there was a product/photo exhibits of the regional winners displayed outside the venue hall and this was graced by Undersecretary Bernard P. Olalia together with USEC Joel L. Maglunsod and other Regional Directors.

Photos and written reports by:

MAY C. VELONTA                                             ROMELYN B. BACTOL

OIC, DOLE SDN Provincial Head                  Senior LEO

©Krisha Villanueva