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PIA Press Release

DOLE's Nego-Kart and Starter Kit program benefits 320 informal sector workers

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (27 February) -- In line with government's thrust to reduce and eliminate poverty in the country through capacity-building services for disadvantage workers who opt to engage in entrepreneurial undertakings to augment their income, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has released P2.4 million benefiting 320 recipients.

Aimed to provide assistance to the marginalized workers in the country's informal sector, DOLE launched third quarter of last year the Nego-Kart (Negosyo sa Kariton) and the Starter Kit program.

DOLE-CAR spent about P2 million for its Starter Kit program which benefitted about 281 home-based workers. For the Nego-Kart project, it distributed 39 Nego-Karts costing P400,000.00 to ambulant vendors.

According to DOLE-CAR Regional Director Ana Dione, both projects were piloted in Baguio City and Benguet, though for the starter kit there were also 21 beneficiaries in Tabuk, Kalinga. For this year, the project will concentrate more on the other provinces in the region.

Dione explained that the Starter Kit program is a three-year project wherein they will also monitor the beneficiaries' progress every six month. The Starter Kit and Nego-Kart programs provides assistance to informal sector or home-based workers up to a maximum of P50,000 per beneficiaries depending on their project proposals.

For the initial beneficiaries of the program, Dione stressed that they will continue to push for additional trainings for each individual or household workers and on exhibiting their products on trade fairs.

Relative to this, they will also tap the Department of Education - Alternative learning System's (ALS-Baguio) Livelihood skills Training program to provide additional training particularly on food processin, to their Starter Kit beneficiaries.

Dione also outlined the importance of local government units (LGUs) role, to come up strong, in its initiative to provide assistance to the informal sector workers in their areas. Citing the case of the Lang-ay wine, Dione stressed that the DOLE has been partnering with the municipality, when they are still beginning to produce their wine, but now it is already the One Town One Product (OTOP) of the municipality.

Aside from the said programs, DOLE-CAR, in partnership with the LGUs, also hired 575 emergency employees in the different parts of the region, to clear typhoon clogged or damaged barangay roads. Each worker were hired and personally paid by DOLE-CAR for a period of seven days. (PIA) [top]

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