DTI, Army’s livelihood trainings empower former women-UGMO members

QUIRINO, Ilocos Sur, Feb. 27 (PIA) - - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the province and the 69th Infantry Battalion (IB), 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, rolled out a series of skills trainings in the barangays of Namitpit and Patungcaleo here recently.

With reports from the DTI, as a member-agency of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), said trainings were conducted to solidify the government’s commitment to provide livelihood opportunities to former Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) members and mass supporters of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) who pledged allegiance to the government.

Simultaneously conducted were skills training on Commercial Baking Upgrading, Mushroom Processing, and Steamed Snacks Making which were participated in by a total of 89 former women UGMO-members.

Trainees, along with DTI-Ilocos Sur Provincial Director Grace Lapastora (center, one who wears yellow) and troops of the 69IB, pose for a photo op after they underwent Basic Skills Training on Commercial Baking. (Photo by the DTI-Ilocos Sur)

The Upgrading Training on Commercial Baking participated in  by 28 members of the Upper Madapoy Farmers Association, was a follow-up to the training conducted in November last year in barangay Patungcaleo, which aimed to increase the revenue stream of the project by introducing additional product lines like malunggay pandesal, cookies, and ensaymada.

Now, the association generates an average weekly sales of P2, 200 from P1, 500 since December last year.

With the oven provided under the DTI’s Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay-Livelihood Seeding Program (NSB-LSP) and the financial assistance from the local government unit (LGU), the association hopes to expand its consumer reach to the adjacent barangays of Quirino and the municipality of Cervantes.

Unang-una sa lahat, nagpapasalamat kami sa gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng DTI at sa 69th IB. Kung hindi dahil sa inyo wala kaming matututunan at hindi madadagdagan ang aming pangkabuhayan,” said Joy Bentir, trainee and member of the Under Madapoy Farmers Organization.

Simula po noon marami na pong pinagbago ang grupo namin, lalo na po maraming pagsubok na dumating,” she added.

Moreover, to upgrade and capacitate their skills on mushroom processing, the DTI convened 37 members of Bucnit Women’s Club, Cabaroan Livelihood Organization, Bucnit Women’s Livelihood Association and the Upper Madapoy Tailoring Association for the Basic Skills Training on Mushroom Processing.

Last year, troops of the 69IB introduced mushroom production in Barangay Patungcaleo where 20 individuals initially participated, thus, the 69IB sought the intervention of the DTI to introduce processing technology in order to sustain the income generating project of the residents.

Said training capacitated the participants with processing skills that enabled them to add more value to their harvests producing crispy mushroom, pickled mushroom, mushroom patty and mushroom sisig. 

Jocelyn Ilat, president of the Cabaroan Livelihood Organization, said, “Nagpapasalamat kami sa DTI dahil kahit mahirap marating ang aming lugar ay dumating sila’t nagbigay ng training na makapagbibigay ng karagdagang kaalaman at kalauna’y magagamit namin bilang hanapbuhay. Sana marami pa silang matulungan.”

Lastly, 24 members of the Namitpit Livelihood Association participated in the Basic Skills Training on Steamed Snacks Making where they learned to produce siomai, siopao, puto, and pichi-pichi.

“I would like to thank the 69th IB for coordinating this training with the DTI,  for the equipment and for giving us the opportunity to learn  how to make steamed snacks. This would be a great help to our group to start our business,” said Junjie Lance Pascua, president of the Namitpit Livelihood Association.

These activities were part of the DTI’s NSB-LSP and the Army’s Community Support Program to respond to the challenge of uplifting the economic welfare of former UGMO members who are willing to start a new life and support the government’s goal of sustainable peace and development.

Meanwhile, DTI Provincial Director Grace Lapastora emphasized the strong resolve of the government to provide livelihood assistance to former UGMO members who have pledged support to the government in order for them to start a life away from the exploitation of the CTGs.

“We are here to deliver the promise of the government to improve your lives.  However, we have our own share of responsibility to make the realization of lasting peace and prosperity.  We are expecting your cooperation to all initiatives of the government intended to promote your welfare,” she said. (JCR/VHS/JMCQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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