Antique, Philippines. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III recently visited the Province of Antique to monitor the projects implemented by the Department under its Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP).

Bello visited the Loom Weaving Project of Bagtason Loom Weavers Association, Inc. and the Canteen and Catering Services Project of the Association of Differently-Abled Persons (ADAP) of Bugasong, Antique Inc., both located in the Municipality of Bugasong, Antique. The two (2) organizations are duly recognized Accredited Co-Partners (ACPs) of DOLE in the implementation of its Kabuhayan Program.

The Bagtason Loom Weavers Association, Inc. is a group-managed livelihood undertaking with 55 members who are mostly women and youth weavers of Barangay Bagtason. The organization has been a recipient of DOLE’s Kabuhayan Program for a number of times.  The first financial assistance granted to the organization was in 2008 amounting to P105,570.00, the second was in 2012 wherein they received P199,980.00 and the last was 2017 wherein an amount of P1,000,000.00 was released for the enhancement of its loom weaving project.

Bello also visited the Canteen and Catering Services Project of ADAP – Bugasong, Antique, Inc. It is also a group-managed livelihood project launched in 2011 through the initial fund provided by DOLE amounting to P200,000.00.  It has 61 active members who are persons with disabilities and their dependents.

DOLE also granted an additional fund to the organization in 2017 amounting to P918,230.00 for the enhancement of its canteen and catering services.  The organization is one of the identified demonstrative projects in the region under the DOLE Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF).

Secretary Bello also met with Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) beneficiaries during his visit in the Municipalities of Belison and San Jose de Buenavista, Antique for a dialogue. DOLE has hired more than 16,000 Antiqueños coming from all 18 municipalities of Antique under its TUPAD program.

Seeing those sustainable and thriving livelihood projects funded by DOLE and properly managed by its ACPs, the Secretary of Labor left the province inspired and with a renewed commitment to extend more projects and services to the Antiqueños.