Vaccination against the coronavirus disease 2019 in Bulacan. (PNA file photo)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Department of Department of Science and Technology-Central Luzon (DOST-3) has provided livelihood assistance packages to four community sectors in Bulacan that have been greatly affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The move is under the DOST’s Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program which aims to empower poor communities and marginalized sectors through provisions of technologies.

DOST Regional Director Julius Caesar V. Sicat on Thursday said the program beneficiaries are the Samahang may Kapansanan (SamaKa) in San Miguel, displaced workers from the Bocaue pyrotechnics industry, the Solid and Independent LGBTQ of Bulakan, and the Heneral Goyo Farmers Association (HGFA).

“Given their physical limitations, the Covid-19 pandemic has made it especially challenging for members of SamaKa to engage in livelihood activities as do the workers in the pyrotechnics industry as many factories were forced to trim down their workforce,” Sicat said in a statement.

Likewise, the Solid and Independent LGBTQ of Bulakan, Inc. faced enormous trials during the pandemic as their primary source of income which is giving make-up and hairstyle services during events such as weddings, birthdays and pageants were considered non-essential, and social events and gatherings were either limited or prohibited.

The group received meat processing equipment and health and wellness products while tools and machinery for the production of different varieties of crops for the HGFA.

Meanwhile, the Heneral Goyo Farmers Association (HGFA) suffered income loss due to the high cost of farm inputs but low farmgate prices for their produce, he added.

The SamaKa and displaced workers from the Bocaue pyrotechnics industry, on the other hand, received gardening implements and tools to start their own vegetable gardens.

Sicat said the program beneficiaries will also receive training on project management to ensure the sustainability of the program. (PNA)