Press Releases
In Anda, Pangasinan, DOLE-Assisted Livelihood Helps Preserve Local Culinary Heritage

A group of vendors in the island municipality of Anda, Pangasinan now hopes for a better life through a livelihood which they have inherited from their forefathers. For the informal workers, it’s more than a source of income – it is a tradition they intend to preserve and pass on from generation to generation. 
They are makers and vendors of a local delicacy known as “binongey”, glutinous rice soaked in coconut milk and steamed in bamboo tubes. Guava leaves are used to cover the tubes, for added flavor and aroma. The tubes are then placed upright in low fire, and cooked to a delightful perfection. 
It’s a food that has long been embedded in the culture of Anda – so much so that they hold an annual festival for it. 
In April 2021, this group of 10 vendors from Brgy. Sablig won in the Binongey-cooking competition in the 16th Binongey Festival. They won cash prizes and other incentives – but these could only last long. 
That’s where the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 1 (DOLE RO1) saw the opportunity to help these low-income self-employed workers sustain and improve their livelihood.
With the endorsement of Anda Mayor Joganie Rarang and PESO Manager Emely Calaor, the 10 workers were enrolled to the DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP). 
On April 29, 2021, the DOLE RO1 granted them with P200,560.00 livelihood aid, channeled through the project’s Accredited Co-Partner (ACP), the Local Government Unit of Anda. Mayor Rarang received the check from DOLE Western Pangasinan Field Office Chief Rhoda Dingle.
After which, the vendors went through series of trainings on business ethics, planning and development; simple bookkeeping; values formation; safety and health measures; and food handling.   
The DOLE aid shall be used to procure raw materials aimed to intensify the production of the 10 vendor-beneficiaries. They will also be enrolled in a micro-insurance. The DOLE and LGU shall work hand-in-hand to closely monitor the progress and sustainability of the livelihood.
This is the second group of binongey vendors assisted by DOLE. In 2018, the DOLE has granted P154,200 to vendors in Bolinao, an adjacent town where the delicacy is similarly popular. Compared to Anda’s binongey, however, Bolinao’s “binungey” are cooked in thinner bamboo tubes and covered with banana leaves. 
“Truly, the DOLE is committed to help improve the quality of lives of informal workers through livelihood intervention,” DOLE Regional Director Atty. Evelyn R. Ramos said. “As the nation celebrates the National Heritage Month this May, this Binongey Livelihood Project is a testament that DOLE programs can also be channels in preserving local culture and heritage,” RD Ramos added. END/Justin Paul Marbella and Mhel Gaspar. 
RD Evelyn R. Ramos
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