DOLE RO 6-IFO Head Melisa S. Navarra (third from left) discusses with the officers of Manampunay Farmers Association on how to make the project sustainable after the turn–over of the check. With Ms. Navarra is Ms. Cecilia S. Acebuque (left), Iloilo Field Office Livelihood Focal.
To provide livelihood is not only to promote the economic well-being of the beneficiaries but also to create lasting peace in the community.  This is one of the mandates of DOLE as member of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

DOLE never gets tired of assisting beneficiaries and creating livelihood opportunities to alleviate their income, restore their trust in the government, and motivate others to return to their communities.

In partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Leon, Iloilo, the DOLE RO No. 6 through its Iloilo Field Office released the check amounting to Php 497,080 intended for the Rice and Farm Inputs Retailing Project in Brgy. Manampunay, Leon Iloilo.  The project was granted after the area was considered “cleared” by the RTF-ELCAC.

The livelihood assistance benefitted 58 members of Manampunay Farmers Association, who are marginalized farmers, indigenous people, rebel returnees, and senior citizens. The project will involve retailing of rice, and various farm inputs including fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, among others.

“DOLE never allows poverty to cause divisiveness and conflict in the community, “stressed Regional Director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez, Jr. “Our services and programs for the most vulnerable groups of the society is a way to bring the government closer to the people and to create unity and harmony in the countryside.  Hindi natin sila pinababayaan dahil sila yung nasa laylayan ng lipunan.”

RD Rodriguez also mentioned several projects from various government agencies in the barangay which include farm-to-market roads and similar infrastructures that provides ease in trading their agricultural products in a larger market.

Since Brgy. Manampunay is an agricultural area, and farming is the main source of livelihood in the community, the project is expected to provide Manampunayons a cost-and-time-efficient venue to buy their needs. Due to its ideal location within the community, the project is expected to be a stable source of income for the association and its beneficiaries,

In the turn-over ceremony, DOLE RO No 6 – Iloilo Field Office Head Melisa S. Navarra addressed the perennial concern of the barangay and the association to sustain the project.

“We encourage you to keep and maintain an enterprise-oriented mindset. By this, you will have the urge to sustain and improve the project, which shall provide a better life for the beneficiaries and the community”, said Melisa S. Navarra, DOLE Iloilo Field Office Head.

This project, in support to the National TF-ELCAC pursuant to Executive Order No. 70, prioritizes and harmonizes the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected areas and vulnerable communities, facilitate societal inclusivity, and ensure active participation of all sectors of society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda.

“We are always for the developmental approach in resolving this conflict between our constituents and the government. Alleviating their economic status will always be one of the first steps in achieving this so-longed peace,” said Leon, Iloilo Mayor Malin Cabana-Holipas, who expressed her appreciation to the concerted effort of DOLE and the different government agencies in bringing peace to the communities.