DOLE Region 3 Regional Director Leopoldo de Jesus yesterday reported to Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz that the DOLE Bataan Field Office has released P400,000 in livelihood assistance to disadvantaged fishermen, housewives, and out-of-school youth in Samal and Limay, Bataan.

“I am pleased to report to the Secretary that a total of 323 disadvantaged residents of the towns of Limay and Samal have benefited from this latest assistance under the DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program,” Director de Jesus reported.

De Jesus said a part of the total assistance in the amount of P200,000 was awarded to the Limay Multi-purpose Cooperative, whose 258 members are growing mango and cassava for their livelihoods. The cooperative sells its produce of cassava to B-Meg Feeds, a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation, which uses these as animal food additive.

Ma. Cristina Bulandos, manager of the cooperative, was profuse with thanks to the DOLE for the assistance. She said the cooperative will use the money to acquire heavy-duty cassava grinders.

“Our members, particularly the cassava growers, will no longer grind their cassavas manually. With heavy-duty grinders, they will be able to produce faster and more processed cassava which could result into increased profit,” she said.

De Jesus said the remaining amount of P200,000 was awarded to the Rural Improvement Club of Samal, whose members are low-income housewives, fishermen, and out-of-school youth, reaching a total of 65.

“The Club will use the money to purchase fishing tools and implement which they don’t have at present,” he said.

The municipal mayors of the two towns, Samal Mayor Generosa dela Fuente, and Limay Mayor Lilver B. Roque expressed their appreciation to the DOLE for the assistance to their respective constituents.

Present during the awarding of the DOLE livelihood assistance were Nely Punzalan, head of the DOLE Bataan Field Office and Conrad Borra, Jose Roberto Navata, and Jacqueline Rapunzel Tigas of the DOLE Regional Office No. 3. The PESO managers of the two towns were also present during the awarding.

With reporting by Jerry Borja

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