The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has turned over P4.9 million in livelihood projects to five Community-Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) associations in Puerto Princesa City.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron handed the certificates of award to the association representatives during the regular flag-raising ceremony at the City Hall Monday.

The Isla Felomina Snorkeling and Diving Site Association (ISFA) was awarded a community bakery project worth P265,465, while the Babuyan Twin Sandbars Association (BTWA) was given boat services and snorkeling rentals project worth P495,200.

The Community Park Warden CBST Association (Jungle Trail) now has a survival t-shirt printing and selling business worth P231,140 and the Magayen Buenavista Consumers Cooperative (MBCC) was awarded a photo, t-shirt, and mud printing equipment for its livelihood project worth P499,500.

The Tagabinet Neighborhood Tourism Association (TNTA) was given a water refilling station amounting to P750,000.

The projects were turned over to the CBST groups through the effort of the City Tourism Office (CTO) under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).

“Ang mga CBSTs babies ng tourism natin ‘yan. We really wanted them to grow. Hindi sapat talaga ‘yong kita lang nila sa destinations sa mga sinisingil nila. So, we really wanted to ensure ‘yong sustainability kaya nag-i-introduce tayo ng alternative livelihood, na kapag lean months, meron silang alternative. Kaya ‘yan, tayo ay nag-propose sa National Government sa pamamagitan ng DOLE,” said Aileen Amurao, city toursim officer told Palawan News.

Amurao said the projects are “just the first wave” and another round of livelihood grants for the remaining nine CBST associations in the city will be granted next week.

Puerto Princesa City has 14 CBST associations in 26 CBST destinations, she said.