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DOLE DILP regional winner courts luck at national level

The life story of a resident of Sogod, Southern Leyte was filmed and  documented on May 11, by personnel from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional and provincial offices, in coordination with the local government unit of Sogod.

“Melfo Bitor, a 29-year old Sogodnon is a DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) beneficiary,” the labor and employment agency announced in its social media page, adding that the native of Sogod town “won as a regional winner for Best DOLE-assisted Livelihood Project for Individual Category.”

“Now, Bitor is vying for the Best DOLE-assisted National Winner,” DOLE said, and this was the reason the Sogodnon faced the camera and parried questions in an interview, with high hopes her inspiring story merits the attention of lady luck to be at her side in the national contest.

Luck, indeed, was all she had, spiced with matching hardwork and a determined belief to make it through, when she ventured into a street food micro business.

“Way back in 2015-2017, she worked for a known bakeshop in Sogod earning P195 per day. She opted to resign, though, by dint of assignment transfer to Catbalogan City leaving her little baby no one to care after to,” DOLE narrated.

And with an initial capital of only P150, repeat, in words, One Hundred Fifty Pesos, she began selling fishballs near the barangay Day Care center.

One routine day on the daily grind, a real-lady-luck trigger in the person of Lorena Altejar came by and offered livelihood assistance through DOLE, Altejar being a staff at the local Public Employment Service Office (PESO), an attached unit of DOLE.

The rest is history, or, more precisely, for the gender-conscious out there, herstory, short of the “they-live-happily-ever-after” endings in the fairy tales of old, only that this is no fairy tale, and surely this is not an old story.

“Imperceptibly, Melfo’s small scale fishball, kikiam and kwekwek vending business continuously boomed into sought-after streetfood cravings. Currently, she already have four branches of street food store,” DOLE’s FB Page intoned with pride, aptly using the verb “boomed,” for its shock waves vibrated like a forceful nuclear bomb it probably shattered the naysayers and skeptics alike.

Here’s the kicker: Bitor and her husband did not only become a streetfood entrepreneur -- they substantially instilled hopes and dreams not only for their own and family, but also to other people, because she extended the livelihood assistance through employment provision.

“DILP or Kabuhayan Program is the DOLE’s contribution to the government’s agenda of substantial poverty reduction and inclusive growth,” DOLE said.

A big yes to that, but only if such a program lands in the hands of people with attitude like that of Melfo Bitor.

Will she succeed convincing lady luck at the national scene for a repeat, higher notch title?

The question cannot be answered by a simple yes or no. For what matters most was that Melfo Bitor has touched, and will continue to touch, other people’s lives.

That, in itself is proof enough that needs no further convincing, luck or no luck. (LDL/MMP/PIA Southern Leyte, with a report from DOLE Regional, Provincial offices) 

About the Author

Marcelo Pedalino

Regional Editor

Region 8

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