A livelihood project from Infanta, Pangasinan is named by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as the third best DOLE-assisted livelihood project in the country for 2022.

The livelihood of Mr. Perfecto Caballero Jr. ranked third among 17 livelihood projects in the individual category in the 2022 DOLE Kabuhayan Awards, with the awarding ceremony held today, May 27, 2022, at New Coast Hotel, Malate, Manila.

‘Patotoy’ is a native delicacy in Infanta. It is made of glutinous rice, rolled and filled with sweet fillings like yema and ube. For years now, Mang Perfecto has been selling ‘patotoy’ in his neighborhood, which easily made a mark in the market because of its funny name.

In January 2020, Mang Perfecto and other patotoy vendors in the town received aid from DOLE, through the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program. DOLE Regional Office 1 granted each of the patotoy vendors with P20,000-worth of tools and materials for patotoy-making.

But it was Mang Perfecto and his family who really stuck strong to this sticky product. After life misfortunes – such as their home and fishing equipment being wiped out by Typhoon Cosme in 2008 – Mang Perfecto struggled to provide for his family, shifting ships from a fisherman to pedicab driver. Then, in 2017, in their desire to source additional income for the family, he and his wife Sheryl learned to make patotoy.

Because of this product, Mang Perfecto was able to steadily improve the conditions of his family. The improvement of their house is on the plans, as well as the construction of a production area to further boost their business. Earning around P30,000 to P90,000 monthly, Mang Perfecto has also helped put Infanta in the world map as his products now reach customers as far as Norway, London, USA, who just can resist the taste of his ‘patotoy.’

“Mang Perfecto really has an interesting story, and we are happy that his success was recognized in this year’s Kabuhayan Awards,” said DOLE Regional Director Atty. Evelyn Ramos.

“The promotion of gainful employment opportunities remains to be a cornerstone for DOLE. This mandate has even gained a deeper meaning as we now transcend into the new normal, where new opportunities for employment and livelihood shall transpire,” RD Ramos added. (By Justin Paul Marbella)