During the ceremonial turn-over: (From L-R) Engr. Wesley Tan, AVRC staff Jojo Maraguinot, PWD ZC Ass. President Teddy Kahil, DOLE Asst. Reg’l Director Yaya Centi, DSWD IX Operations Chief Josefina Reyes, AVRC Head Leila Awis

A turn-over ceremony on Wednesday was conducted at the Massage center of the Visually Impaired Society Towards Advancement (VISTA) Inc. on June 8, 2016. The turn-over of livelihood equipment was made possible through the proposal submitted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development IX (DSWD) and funded of the Department of Labor and Employment IX (DOLE).

Present during the ceremony were DOLE-IX Assistant Regional Director Yaya Centi, Chief Labor and Employment Officer Engr. Wesley Tan, VISTA President Teddy Kahil, DSWD focal for Sectoral Ma. Socorro Macaso, Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center Head Leila Awis and Operations Chief Josie Reyes representing DSWD regional director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo.

P204,000-worth of livelihood equipment which includes massage beds, massage chair, towels, air-conditioner, computer unit, water dispenser and generator set were turned-over to the VISTA to help them improve their services to clients, thereby generate much bigger income for the workers.

DSWD together with the DOLE believes that the convergence effort of all social protection stakeholders will yield an empowered community especially among vulnerable and disadvantaged sectors.

DSWD regional director Atty. Solamillo also extended her deepest gratitude to the department’s partner-stakeholders for upholding a coordinated and responsive delivery of social services especially to their partner-beneficiaries, the VISTA.

“DSWD continues to partner with various entities because we recognize that none of us can reach our goals alone, especially if we talk about ensuring sustainable livelihood for the PWD community,” Atty. Solamillo said in a statement.

 “We are deeply committed to support your vision of a better society. VISTA can dream and VISTA can change the world with their skills. We are always behind you, supporting your endeavors,” says DOLE Assist. RD Yaya Centi.

VISTA was established in 2009 and has since served 47 PWDs in the region through skills training and employment-generation. Currently, it provides stable income for 8 individuals who are beneficiaries of the project.

Meanwhile, 19,362 PWDs in the entire region were identified as poor by the Listahanan project under the DSWD.

The department hopes that the VISTA project will be able to reach and serve more clients from all over the region in the days to come.###