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Over 100 child laborers receive school supplies from DOLE

Negros Oriental, Philippines. Notebooks. Pens. Pencils. Bottles of glue.  Rulers. Sharpeners. These and more completed the educational supplies that each 125 profiled child laborers received last week from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7) during the 2019 World Day Against Child Labor Celebration held in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental.

Bearing the theme, “Children Shouldn’t Work in Fields but on Dreams,” the celebration, according to DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton, urged everyone to help intensify and level-up the efforts exerted to fight against child labor and its worst forms by way of respecting the rights of the children and ensuring that they are not stripped off their childhood.

To start working on their dreams, Director Siaton continued, the DOLE through its Negros Oriental Field Office (NOFO) conducted the Project Angel Tree – a component of the Department’s Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP) whereby child laborers and their parents would receive an array of services from donors or benefactors.

“The gifts that were distributed to the children were made possible through the generosity of benevolent benefactors. A portion of which, also came from the proceeds of the 2019 Labor Day Ride for a Cause held in Dumaguete City last May,” said DOLE-NOFO Chief Marites G. Mercado.

The profiling of Child Laborers conducted by the DOLE in 2018 showed that the municipalities of Mabinay, Siaton and Basay, Negros Oriental have the most number of child laborers profiled.

“There is more that needs to be done. There is a need to heighten our campaign against child labor. This, the DOLE cannot do alone that is why, the Department is actively and closely coordinating with other agencies and groups that are also working towards the goal of making the Region child labor-free,” said Director Siaton.

The DOLE-7 Head admitted that the magnitude of the advocacy is so huge that it is highly important for the DOLE to get the cooperation not only from other involved agencies but also from the families concerned, whose children are engaged with child labor.

“As a sign of the Department’s holistic approach to dealing with this concern, we do not only attempt to remove children from child labor but we also provide appropriate interventions to their families by way of letting the parents avail of our livelihood program,” she continued.

And one of the ways to start providing correct interventions to said child laborers and their families, she added, is by using a tool or database of profiled child laborers that’s updated and accurate.

At present, the DOLE is in the process of hiring community facilitators, special encoders and enumerators to help expedite the profiling of child laborers in the Region.

“I lauded the efforts exerted by our partners in Negros Oriental insofar as child labor elimination is concerned. Particularly, I would like to thank all the donors and benefactors who shared their blessings with the children. My gratitude also goes out to the local government unit of Tanjay City for letting us use their gym for the celebration,” said Director Siaton.

During the celebration, the DOLE also conducted an assessment session among the profiled 125 child laborers and their parents together with the following agencies and groups, namely: PESO; DepEd; CSWDO; TESDA; the Voice of the Free-an NGO Partner; and other stakeholders.

Free haircut and rag-making demonstration were also provided to the child laborers and their parents.

 

 

End//LSenarlo-Taniza with reporting from BMDePadua of NOFO

 

For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel SenarloTaniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at dole_centralvisayas@yahoo.com.

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2019-07-02
SALOME O. SIATON
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