The Department of Labor and Employment-Regional Office 1, through its Ilocos Norte Field Office, recently awarded check to a group of mango growers to enhance their mango production project.
Mr. Engracio Bailon, Head of the DOLE-Ilocos Norte Field Office, said the check amounting to P449,834.00 will be used to purchase equipment and tools to transform the recipients’ mango production into a more prolific business undertaking.
“Through creativity, you can derive more income and generate employment by maximizing the use of existing resources,” Bailon, addressing the beneficiaries, said.
The Association of Mango Growers of Barangay Maipalig and Quiom in Batac City has been engaged in mango production for long years, which explains why mango fruits are abundant as raw materials in the area.
Bailon said the association will initially engage in the production of puree, nectar, jam, chutney and dried mango candies. “Wastage of raw materials will also be avoided by processing them into different forms with longer shelf life,” Bailon said.
Regional Director Henry John Jalbuena said the DOLE livelihood program, as a strategy for generating community-based employment, requires the abundance of raw materials in identified project areas as one way to ensure sustainability. “Post-production processing will add more value to the harvests, and could spell greater income for the 258 beneficiaries,” Jalbuena said.
He added that the provision of livelihood among marginalized sectors is in line with President Benigno Aquino III’s anti-poverty drive.
The DOLE has partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry for technical assistance in product packaging and marketing. LD/ASV