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RIZAL DAIRY PRODUCERS HAILED CHAMP IN THE 2021 KABUHAYAN AWARDS

Llano Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LFMPC) of the Province of Rizal bagged the “Best DOLE-Assisted Livelihood Project” Title (Group Category) in the national leg of the 2021 Kabuhayan Awards held last November 3.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with its mandate to give sources of income either through livelihood grants, emergency employment, and decent jobs to Filipinos continues to fund both informal and formal sector workers to recuperate from the adverse effects of the pandemic. DOLE has been implementing livelihood projects in the past years to reduce poverty cases in the country. As many livelihood projects continue to reach success, DOLE’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) devised an annual incentive and reward system. Also known as Kabuhayan Awards, DOLE aims to recognize the valuable efforts of program implementers, and to highlight the best practices in program implementation, and even the success stories of their livelihood beneficiaries.

From humble beginnings to celebrated victories

Raul Castillo, incumbent Chairman of LFMPC expressed his gratitude to the staff of DOLE Rizal and DOLE Regional Office IV-A for their constant support to their organization throughout the years.

“Nais ko lang po sanang samantalahin ang pagkakataong ito upang magpasalamat sa mga tumulong sa Llano [Farmers] Multi-Purpose Cooperative sa mga nagdaang taon. Sa Department of Labor and Employment Rizal Provincial Office Family, kay Director Marivic Martinez, Ma’am Victoria Natanauan, kay Ma’am Janine Rivera, kay sir Flint Gorospe. Sa DOLE IV-A Regional Director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman, Assistant Director Nepumuceno A. Leaño II, taos-puso po namin kayong pinasasalamatan sa pagkakataon at tiwala na ibinigay niyo sa amin upang makatulong sa aming kabuhayan, ang Dairy Delights,” Castillo said.

Castillo also recalled that every time their cooperative encountered challenges, the Department is always there for them.

“Hindi lang isang beses kami natulungan ng DOLE sa aming pangangailangan sa aming kabuhayan. Kaya salamat dahil kapag nahihirapan ang aming grupo, nandiyan ang DOLE. At ngayon sa lahat ng aming pinagdaanan, nandito kami sa inyong harapan upang tanggapin ang karangalang ito,” Castillo added.

Looking back during the late 80’s, LFMPC started as small farmers’ association in Jalajala, Rizal, hoping to help fellow agrarian reform beneficiaries in growing their crops. In 1992, the association decided to convert their group as a multi-purpose cooperative to focus more on palay production, and irrigation in the community.

In 2005, LFMPC decided to walk on different path and venture in to the business of dairy production. After series of trainings, the members of the cooperative learned the process of milk extraction to dairy production. After a year, in 2006, LFMPC introduced their dairy products to the market under the brand name “Dairy Delights” (now known as Dairylicious after rebranding). Using only PhP 1,000 as a starting capital, LFMPC had produced fresh carabao’s milk, chocolate milk (choco milk), and kesong puti.

 

Just like other business, LFMPC also encountered serious challenges along the way. Due to inadequate funds and raw materials to sustain their business, LFMPC admitted that they opted to loan the raw materials such as carabao’s milk, containers, and packaging from farmers and stores, and paid them weekly. They also borrowed materials from their neighbors to reduce their operating expenses.

But not all hurdles last long. Through the information from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on the projects of DOLE, DAR assisted LFMPC to apply for livelihood grants to DOLE. DOLE Rizal Provincial Office granted LFMPC a livelihood aid amounting to PhP 500,000.00 designed to address their longtime problems which are the source of raw materials and capital. Through the grant from DOLE, LFMPC was able to buy additional 12 carabaos which are the main source of milk of their dairy products.

The constant support of DOLE and other government agencies paved the way for LFMPC’s Dairylicious to be recognized in different trade fairs. The public exposure from the different trade fairs that they attended also helped them to increase the demand through promotions of their dairy products. This pushed LFMPC to look for another source of raw materials. Because of this, they requested an enhancement aid for their dairy business to DOLE Rizal. In 2019, they were granted an additional amount of PhP 500,000.00 which enabled them to buy ten more carabaos.

Another door of opportunity opens for LFMPC as soon as they have received this enhancement. With enough source of raw materials and through the help of other government agencies, the cooperative secured millions worth of contract with Department of Education (DepEd). They provide carabao toned milk for the feeding program of DepEd.

As LFMPC business continues to grow, they had acquired more assets from their earnings. Currently, they have one closed van, one L-300, 16 two-door freezers, cooling tower, heat exchanger, and two auto-fill seals. Furthermore, they are also able to employ 35 workers from their members who are in-charge in the production, and packaging of products. Said workers are all equipped with multiple trainings on dairy production. Aside from receiving a minimum wage, they also enjoy the social security benefits.

Castillo offered the recognition they had received to their members and staff.

“Ang karangalang ito bilang grand winner sa group category ay para sa lahat ng naging bahagi ng Llano Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, sa mga magsasaka, sa mga kasapi at staff, congratulations sa ating lahat,” Castillo expressed.

Llano Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative will receive a Plaque of Recognition and PhP 100,000 cash prize as their incentive.

On Enhanced Rewards System

This year’s Kabuhayan Awards is much more special as they had expanded the award categories.

According to BWSC Director Atty. Ma. Karina P. Trayvilla, Sec. Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III signed another administrative order to acknowledge the dedication and efforts of livelihood program implementers, particularly in Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program.

“Naging napakalaki po ang kontribusyon nito (TUPAD) sa panahon ng pandemya. Bukod sa Administrative Order No. 32-20, na nag-institutionalize ng mga proseso at panuntunan patungkol sa paglulunsad ng incentives/rewards system para sa livelihood program, itong taon ay pinirmahan din po ni Sec. Bebot Bello ang Administrative Order no. 116-21 na siyang bumalangkas ng mga panuntunan para sa pagpili ng mga natatanging Regional implementers at Focal Persons na nangangasiwa ng TUPAD program,” Trayvilla said.

With this new rewards system, DOLE Rizal representatives also won titles on the regional leg of the competition:

Kristielle Joy C. Maglabe - Best Performing Provincial/Field Office TUPAD Focal Person

Sofio Cardenas Jr. (Woodworks Project) - Best DOLE-Assisted Livelihood Project (Individual Category)

Tulungan sa Kabuhayan ng Calawis, Inc. - Best Accredited Co-Partners in DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP)

City of Antipolo- Best Local Government Unit in DILP Implementation

All the winners received plaques of recognition as well as cash incentives.

House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco emphasized on his message that this rewards system highlights that Filipinos also need the government’s aid to unleash their potential and give them the opportunity to make their lives better.

“Pinatutunayan ng pagkilalang ito ang likas na sipag at inisiyatibo ng ating mga kababayang Pilipino. Ipinapakita po ito na marami sa atin ay kailangan lang ng kaunting tulong at kikilos na sila, para sa kanilang sarili at pamilya, the House Speaker reiterated.

More Reforms for TUPAD and DILP

In commitment to contribute to country’s recovery effort, Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III said that the government will launch a National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) hoping to restore the Labor Market and increase the employability of the workers.

One of the reforms that the Labor Premiere mentioned is the BikeCination Project under DOLE Integrated Livelihood Project. It aims to encourage informal sector workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide them with income support especially in these times of crisis. Aside from the informal sector workers, the Department will also cater for this program the beneficiaries of Balik-Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-asa Program and dependents of uniformed wounded or killed AFP, PNP personnel among others.

Meanwhile, the Labor Chief shared the changes in the implementation of TUPAD Program.

“Under the TUPAD Program, we have made it a public employment program, extending the duration of work from 10 to 90 days. We have also streamlined the documentary requirements for availment so that it would be easier to avail this program. Please expect more reforms and renovations to be implemented to contribute to the safe opening of our economy,” Sec. Bello assured.

by:


FLINT OSRIC T. GOROSPE
Community Facilitator


CHARMAINE D. BAISA
LEO III

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2021-11-06
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