STARTING OVER. A man sifts through the rubble of his Typhoon Odette-destroyed house in Bindoy, Negros Oriental on Christmas Eve. The Department of Trade and Industry on Friday (Dec. 31, 2021) provided livelihood kits to affected micro, small, and medium enterprises. (Photo courtesy of Cil Flores)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The first batch of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Negros Oriental whose sources of income were devastated by Typhoon Odette received livelihood aid from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Friday.

DTI provincial director Nimfa Virtucio told the Philippine News Agency in an interview that the “Bangon Negosyo (Business Recovery)” kits are worth more than PHP1.1 million, simultaneously turned over in La Libertad and Bais City.

Each livelihood kit is worth PHP8,000 and comes in the form of a Land Bank of the Philippines cash card that the beneficiary can use to purchase goods from DTI-accredited stores to help them revive or rebuild their lost businesses, such as sari-sari (retail) stores.

“The recipients whose businesses were destroyed by the typhoon were identified by the barangay and local government unit (LGU) officials and validated by DTI prior to receiving the assistance from us,” Virtucio said in mixed English and Cebuano.

The beneficiaries were from La Libertad, 24; Guihulngan City, 30; Vallehermoso, six; Bindoy, 12; Bais City, 53; and Mabinay, 15.

The Bangon Negosyo kits are part of the DTI’s livelihood seeding program, Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay, which is done in partnership with local government agencies.

Virtucio said more Bangon Negosyo kits will be handed out next year once those devastated by “Odette” are validated by the DTI and their villages.

Those wishing to avail of the program must visit a DTI Negosyo Center and submit valid identification, proof of business registration (mayor’s permit, business name certificate, and/or LGU certification), and proof that the business was affected by the typhoon (pictures/certification from the LGU/local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRM).

For areas without DTI Negosyo Centers, they can submit the requirements to the local DRRM. (PNA)