Sunday, December 22, 2019

NCR's 1st peace & dev't convergence program targets displaced Malabon vendors

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 23, 2019): NCR's 1st peace & dev't convergence program targets displaced Malabon vendors (By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan)

Sidewalk vendors of Malabon City on Saturday welcome the alternative livelihood programs being offered by the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Cluster of the National Capital Region Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. (PIA NCR)

MALABON CITY, Dec. 23 (PIA) – At least 75 displaced sidewalk vendors in the city stand to benefit from the whole-of-nation convergence program designed to alleviate their plight and provide alternative, long-term, and more stable earning opportunities for them.

During Satruday’s 1st Metro Manila Convergence Program of government, private entities, and civil society organizations held at the Malabon National High School, and spearheaded by the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster of the National Capital Region Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in support of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, the beneficiaries were given the option to learn skills on Hilot (Wellness Massage) NC II, Bread and Pastry Production NC II, and Tile Setting NC II, coupled with orientation on livelihood, business management, financial assistance, and employment opportunities, among others.

Malabon City Mayor Antolin "Len" Oreta, who graced the event, expressed his support to the convergence effort. The mayor also assured that the city was working on providing an alternative means of livelihood for the vendors.

Gilberto Dela Cruz happily shows his seal of approval for the livelihood program. (PIA NCR)

Gilberto Dela Cruz, a 64-year old vendor from Barangay Catmon, said he was quite surprised at first, because despite his age, he is still given the opportunity to avail of the skills training on bread-making.

“Sabi ko po interesado ako, gusto ko pong maipakita sa gobyerno at kay Pangulong Duterte na gusto ko pa rin makibahagi sa programa ng gobyerno,” Dela Cruz said, adding that he will challenge himself to finish the training course and engage with other vendors to avail of the livelihood opportunities.

“Ang totoong gusto ko po ay sa computer [operation] pero baka next year pa raw po i-offer, kaya nag-shift po muna ako sa bread-making business. Pero kasi, interesado rin ako sa ganyan e. Magagamit [ko] sa negosyo at malay nyo, baka makapagpatayo rin tayo ng bakery,” he said.

Nabanggit din po nila sa amin noong primerong orientation namin sa munisipyo na mayroong ibibigay na mga gamit pang-baking kapag nakatapos sa kurso,” he added.

For her part, Lolita Bon, 52, of Barangay Hulong Duhat, who used to sell her wares beside the Malabon City Square Mall, said she and her fellow vendors were encouraged by the local government to avail of the programs being offered. She said she will avail the bread and pastry-making course and also train as a therapeutic masseuse due to its readily available potential income.

“Napakaganda po at napakamaraming matutulungan na kagaya sa aming mga vendors, bale 75 po kami na mga vendors na willing mag-training kasi po, lalo na ngayong clearing time, wala po kaming pagkakataong magtinda sa kalsada nang maghapon. Hinihikayat ko po sila na mag-avail at ito po ang magiging hanapbuhay namin kapag nakatapos po kami,” Bon said.

Training courses would last for as short as 10 days to 18 days depending on its specialty. The convergence program will also provide business opportunities to graduates through-supportive environment such as provision of facilities, mentoring and coaching, training, and networking that will help them establish their respective start-up business.

Graduates of the program are expected to use their skills and knowledge to put up their own business while others can be hired as employees of various business establishments. On the other hand, those who have no business capital may form a group and register as a cooperative so that they can start their own business venture, said Pilar Hernandez-Herbolario of the City of Malabon Polytechnic Institute.

“Ang programang ito, hindi magtatapos sa hilot, mayroon din pang-negosoyo, pangkabuhayan, tapos mayroon din, kung 15 na kayo [members], pwede kayong magtayo ng coop para isang grupo na kayo, na hahanapin. 'Di ba meron tayo na nabuong Tricycle Food Tour noon? O baka sa susunod mayroon na tayong Malabon Tricycle Hilot Tour, at iikutan na kayo ng mga gustong magpahilot para iyong serbisyo natin ay naipapa-abot talaga natin,” she said.

To recall, Malabon City has started promoting its culinary landmarks by means of accredited tricycles, a local public utility transport, which can easily wheeze through traffic and narrow alley ways.

Also, the national and city governments have ordered for the clearing of streets of obstructions to comply with the mandate of the President. (PIA NCR)

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