GOAT DISTRIBUTION.  Some of the beneficiaries line up to receive their goat at the office of Ilocos Norte First District Representative Ferdinand Alexander Marcos on May 18, 2023. Goat raising is being encouraged in the province because it requires minimal capital and in demand for local meat consumption. (Photo by Leilanie Adriano)

LAOAG CITY–Informal workers in the province of Ilocos Norte are getting a chance to earn more in these trying times as the office of First District Representative Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), is continuously distributing goats and chickens as a livelihood support aid.

The latest beneficiaries of 100 goats amounting to PHP993,000 are at least 50 marginalized and disadvantaged informal workers in Vintar town.

Last month, 100 beneficiaries from this city and 25 from the municipality of Carasi also received 250 goats.

This forms part of the agency’s Integrated Livelihood Program which aims to contribute to poverty reduction and reduce vulnerability to risks of the working poor, vulnerable and marginalized workers either through emergency employment, promotion of entrepreneurship, and community enterprises.

"Goat raising is being popularized in the province because it has a great demand in the market,” said Edwin Carino, project officer of  Rep. Marcos in an interview on Friday.

For one thing, goats thrive in the province and could be easily integrated with existing crop-based farming systems. In addition, goat production also entails low initial investment costs and small risks.

Goats serve as security assets, providing emergency cash in times of need for household essentials, children’s education, and farm expenses.

Qualified beneficiaries that include displaced workers and self-employed, who lack capital but are interested to improve existing businesses or to start an enterprise in order to augment their family income, may apply for a livelihood grant and wait for the distribution schedule.

Meanwhile, DOLE also continues to implement its emergency employment program, the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD), in the northern towns of Ilocos Norte.

The DOLE  awarded checks to the local government unit of Pagudpud with PHP6 million to benefit 1,000 beneficiaries; Bangui with PHP5.6 million to benefit 945 workers, and Burgos with PHP3 million to employ 500 informal workers. (PNA)