ILOILO CITY, Oct. 27 (PIA) - - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 6 has approved a P600,000 fund for development training to boost skills and productivity of six communities of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) locally known as "Atis" in the province of Guimaras.
In a media report, DOLE 6 said they are usually seen on the streets peddling broomsticks, amulets and agricultural and native products for their day-to-day living that beefed up the local tourism for years. However, the coronavirus 2019 outbreak has disrupted their daily routine.
Recognizing their needs and potentials, DOLE 6 granted P600,000 for the skills development training on Citronella Mosquito Oil Repellant production as an alternative livelihood program.
Recently, 30 direct beneficiaries were trained on citronella oil production by DOLE and the Provincial Economic Development Office/Provincial Public Employment Office (PEDO/PESO) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Trade and Industry.
The other 889 members of the different IP communities will be involved in other aspects of the project like Citronella propagation, product packaging, and marketing.
DOLE 6 Regional Director Cyril L. Ticao said they believe in the capabilities of the indigenous people, if given an opportunity they could improve their standard of living.
He added that the project can have a positive impact on local tourism on top of additional income it can generate.
"The project aims to promote Ati communities and their skills in utilizing indigenous materials that could become the province's new agri-eco tourism destination," said Ticao in the DOLE 6 press report.
To complement their training, DOLE 6 through its Guimaras Field Office (GFO) with OIC Head Richie Buyco and LEO II Kenneth Jun Eusebio turned over the equipment for Citronella oil processing at Sitio Kati-Kati, Brgy. San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras.
During the turnover ceremony, Governor Samuel Gumarin acknowledged the DOLE for helping strengthen the Ati Communities by providing an alternative livelihood.
The Guimaras Provincial Government and the Office of the Representative of the Lone District of Guimaras are also DOLE's partners in the implementation of the program
Gumarin said the project can also help the province in protecting the people against dengue.
Citronella is known as a mosquito repellent. (DOLE6/JSC/laf/PIA6 Iloilo)