“Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay” empowers women in Ilocos Sur Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija – The Poverty Reduction Livelihood Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of Ilocos Sur, thru the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), with the assistance of the 81st Infantry “Spartan” Battalion (81IB) facilitated the conduct of the Livelihood Training and Diskwento Caravan dubbed as “Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay” in Brgy. Lubing, Burgos, Ilocos Sur on Friday, March 05.According to 81IB Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo A. Mariñas Jr., part of the activity was the skills advancement training on Cassava Processing which aims to give livelihood assistance to the women in the barangay, which also coincided with the celebration of Women’s Month. “This learning opportunity and the skills they acquired from previous trainings helped them upgrade their knowledge, especially in making various delicacies like cassava cake, creamy custard, and puddings,” said Lt. Col. Mariñas Jr.Further, the Diskwento Caravan was also conducted to give people access to basic commodities at a lower price than the retail stores they are accustomed to. Through its Livelihood and Diskwento Caravan Program, the DTI headed by Provincial Director Grace R. Lapastora, brought 45 various kinds of basic and prime commodities in the barangay for the residents to avail themselves.Said endeavor was graced by Municipal Mayor Nathaniel D. Escobar, Chairman of MTF-ELCAC (Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) Burgos, Ilocos Sur; Sangguniang Bayan members; department heads of the Municipality; and, Barangay officials of Lubing headed by Chairman Celso Almazan.In her message, DTI Provincial Director Lapastora stated that in addition to the main objectives of the activity, the skills training also aims to empower the residents by enhancing their acquired skills to be more productive citizens and boost their income. Near the culmination of the activity, Certificates of Commendations from the Burgos LGU were awarded to the 81IB as well as to the Community Support Program (CSP) team deployed in the said barangay. The award is a recognition of the contribution of the unit and its personnel for the conduct of community services in Barangay Luna and Barangay Lubing, both of Burgos, Ilocos Sur, and was administered by Municipal Mayor Escobar. In his message, Lt. Col. Mariñas Jr. said, “We are indeed grateful for the LGU of Burgos for acknowledging and recognizing the efforts of the unit, especially the CSP teams in our community works and services. But as we have said from the start, we do not expect to be recognized nor be accorded any award. As such as, we are here, first and foremost, as public servants and will provide services to the people of the community. And bringing the programs of the government here would not have been possible without the active support and cooperation of the different agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry.”The Commander of the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, Major General Alfredo V. Rosario Jr., thanked the Burgos LGU and the DTI for extending their services to the people who live in far-flung areas, especially in conflict-affected barangays, and assured that the Kaugnay Division will always be of assistance to their initiatives.