LIVELIHOOD ASSISTANCE. Residents of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental flash their vouchers worth P8,000 that they received from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in this undated photo. The DTI-Negros Oriental has handed over P18 million in business kits to 2,250 beneficiaries in the province from January to June 2022. (Photo courtesy of DTI-Negros Oriental)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Negros Oriental has turned over a total of PHP18 million in business kits under its livelihood programs to at least 2,250 beneficiaries across the province.

Krystle Jade Bato, DTI-Negros Oriental information officer, told the Philippine News Agency on Thursday that 1,500 of the recipients were victims of super typhoon Odette which hit the country last December 16, and 750 others were former rebels (FRs) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), persons of concerns (POCs), former drug personalities having undergone the government’s rehabilitation program, persons with disabilities, and those who have been disenfranchised by disasters such as fire.

The distribution of the business kits, worth PHP8,000 each, covered the period from January 1 up to June, this year, Bato said.

The DTI’s two programs are Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (Livelihood Seeding Program) and the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa.

Bato said the recipients have to undergo certain processes and seminars/training and comply with the requirements before they can avail of the assistance. They also have to be identified, profiled, and properly endorsed by the concerned local officials and agencies.

“For Odette victims, they cannot switch to other businesses upon receipt of the DTI assistance, but to resume what was damaged during the typhoon,” she said in mixed English and Cebuano.

Emphasis is given to the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to boost their income but for those starting from scratch, such as the FRs, the DTI has a list of businesses to choose from, like livestock raising or “sari-sari” store, among others, she said.

Bato also said the family of personnel from the government’s uniformed services, such as the police and the military, who are killed or wounded in the line of duty, are qualified to receive the same assistance. (PNA)