by Irma A. Guhit
Imelda Romanillos, provincial field officer of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said during an interview with Philippine Information Agency (PIA) provincial office here recently that DOLE has allocated some P284,000 for the procurement of the needed equipment for the production of seaweeds noodles.
“The project will be managed and operated by the Gawad Kalinga Tarabang Village Association (GKTV) of Prieto Diaz,” she said.
The project communes with President Aquino’s thrusts of Poverty Reduction and Empowerment of the Poor and Vulnerable Sectors, second to his wish lists belonging to his four pillars for development.
According to Romanillos, DOLE as an instrumentality of national government leads in the provision of fund assistance in the reduction of poverty through empowering local communities to utilize and benefits from indigenous materials and promote local employment.
Seaweeds is abundant in the coastal towns of Sorsogon second congressional district including Prieto Diaz, Gubat, Barcelona, Bulusan, Matnog and Sta Magdalena.
“We are trying to coordinate and facilitate interventions by identifying our resources and how these resources and technical assistance can be maximized and harmonized for the development of employment in our rural communities,” she said.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) meanwhile also provides the necessary technical assistance, DOLE for fund assistance and the Department of Agriculture-Regional Fishery Training Center (DA-RFTC) for indigenous resources identification in local communities.
Beneficiaries here of the Gawad Kalinga are also provided values formation sessions and the right knowledge in the implementation of Solid Waste Management Program aside from livelihood development.
Maynard Doluntap of DTI Sorsogon bared that the agency has assisted the GKTV in terms of capability building through entrepreneurship, organizational development, costing and pricing including product development, packaging and labeling.
Doluntap also said that in the just concluded Small and Medium Enterprise -Work on Wheels (SME-WOW) Caravan, this product has been displayed and sales were generated.
“We are proud to say that developing the nutri-noodles can also answer the problems of malnutrition in the countryside. Specially now that we are celebrating Nutrition Month, we can recommend seaweeds noodles for snacks and even as a viand, it being a rich source for iron, calcium and other minerals,” Doluntap also explained.
The seaweed-noodles are now being sold in Prieto Diaz market. It is now distributed in schools and in the local stores here. Packaging comes in 100 grams which sells at P10.00 each. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)