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Saturday, September 19, 2009

DOLE initiates Kabuhayan Starter KITS Project for workers, folks in need of livelihood

The Department of Labor and Employment will set up Micro Business Incubation Centers (MIBCs) to boost the capacities of marginalized informal sector, displaced and other disadvantaged workers, and the families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), to operate a livelihood quickly and lead productive lives.


Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said that the thrust to set up such productive centers, fall under the DOLE Kabuhayan (DK)  Starter KITS Project, which will assist mainly the disadvantaged workers in the so-called informal economy.


At the same time, the Labor and Employment Chief said that the DK Starter KITS Project will also endeavor to reach out to any displaced wage worker here and abroad, with emphasis to assist and alleviate unemployment among special groups like out-of-school youths, women, parents of child laborers, indigenous peoples, the physically/occupationally disabled, urban poor, elderly persons, landless farmers/fisherfolk, and other workers.


Labor Undersecretary Lourdes M. Trasmonte, who heads the DK Starter Kit project, said that initially, the project aims to identify some 200 beneficiaries from the informal sector per region, or a total of 3,200 in 16 regions, along with 3,000 OFW returnees and their families.


Trasmonte said that the Project is consist of a package of priorities and services that will enable the target beneficiaries to quickly start a livelihood undertaking and become self-employed like simple house-to-house service oriented skills (massage, plumbing, cosmetology, electrical servicing, welding, native snack preparation, car wash, repair of motorcycle, cellular phone, appliance and upholstery); existing skills that can be enhanced/improved through short period training; as well as new skills that can be acquired through formal training; alongside the Training Cum Production scheme of the DOLE's National Reintegration Center for OFWs.


Thus, she said, the project will help the beneficiaries plan, set up, start and operate their livelihood undertakings in an easy to learn manner by providing the following major services:  short period training on production skills with entrepreneurship and business management;  self-instructional learning reference materials (handbook/workbook) on production, entrepreneurship and business management skills; along with the provision of livelihood tools, equipment, materials and inputs; and continuing business advisory and consultancy services.


Trasmonte said that for this purpose,  DOLE's Regional Offices (ROs) would oversee the establishment of Community Micro Business Incubation Centers in the country's cities and municipalities. 

Importantly, she also emphasized, the DK Starter KITS project will require beneficiaries to enroll in social protection services like SSS, Phil-Health.


 Trasmonte added that the project will be implemented jointly with the Local Government Units and accredited co-partners (ACPs) in the private sector with the DOLE Regional and field offices involved in the direct administration.  She said that the ACPs would include the OFW Family Circles (OFCs), Federations of OFCs, and OFW Returnees Association.


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