Press Releases
DOLE-RO I brings P1.7-M livelihood aid to 199 Bago farmers of Gregorio del Pilar

Marcelo Agusen, 56 years old, is a Bago, who lives in the mountainous town of Gregorio del Pilar in the second district of Ilocos Sur.  Bago is a term used to refer to the locals for having Igorot and Ilocano bloodlines. Like most of the around 800 households in the locality, Marcelo’s family depends on farming for income. 

Gregorio del Pilar is nestled like a basin amidst the western hills of the Cordilleras and the interior Ilocos towns of San Emilio, Quirino, Sigay and Salcedo. Its seven barangays and five sitios are connected by winding foot trails and seasonal rugged roads.  An eco-tourist site, the town boasts of the historical Tirad Pass, where on December 2, 1899, Filipinos under the leadership of Brigadier General Gregorio del Pilar, fought American soldiers to enable President Emilio Aguinaldo to escape. 

On July 14, Marcelo and 198 other marginalized and landless farmers in this far-flung side of the Ilocos Sur province received a check amounting to P1,718,000 as livelihood support from the Department of Labor and Employment under its Integrated Livelihood Program or Kabuhayan.  

DOLE-RO I Regional Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra handed over the check to Mayor Henry Gallardo in a simple awarding ceremony participated in by Sangguniang Bayan members, PESO Manager Jovelyn Tolentino, DOLE-Ilocos Sur Field Office Head Emmanuel Hagad, DOLE-ISFO staff and the beneficiaries. 

The assistance will be used for the procurement of farm machineries for tobacco, rice and vegetable production project of the beneficiaries who compose four farmers associations of barangays Bussot, Concepcion, Dapdappig and Poblacion Sur.  The LGU will shoulder the amount of P663,020 for fertilizers. 

“We aim to improve rice and vegetable production of our farmers through the establishment of appropriate and efficient farm facilities and equipment. And improved production results in higher income and better life for them,” Director Lacambra said.  

He said the project takes the nature of a common service facility assistance where the association members can readily access the equipment at lower rental, thus saving them costs.  Proceeds from the rentals will go to the association’s common fund which they can roll for other projects, and if sufficient, a portion can be declared as members’ dividends at the end of the year. 

The livelihood assistance will also help empower the beneficiaries for institutional development, the Regional Director added. 


“Engaging our marginalized workers in this livelihood project is part of our goal of transforming them into government partners who can help in achieving inclusive growth even in the remotest parts of the country,” he said. END/Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez

RD Nat V. Lacambra
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