On September 16, 2021, DOLE MIMAROPA through its Occidental Mindoro Field Office headed by Mr. Bernardo B. Toriano, awarded a livelihood check amounting to Php566,104.00, to the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) of Harrison, Paluan, Occidental Mindoro as the Accredited Co-Partner in the General Merchandise Project of Harrison Parents’ Association, the proponent beneficiary, benefitting 50 members under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP).

Being an isolated barangay, the establishment of general merchandise shall cater to a wide array of demands from various food products to grocery needs of households in the area. It will also be the first and only enterprise in Harrison as of this date. Through this venture, it will not just provide an additional income to the association but will also ensure the availability of commodities in case of immediate need. It will also lessen their expenses for the transportation going to the town proper.

“Taos-puso po ang aming pasasalamat sa DOLE MIMAROPA. Napakalaking tulong po nito para sa aming mga magulang na matustusan ang pag-aaral ng aming mga anak upang makamit nila ang kanilang mga pangarap. Kaisa po ninyo kami sa paglaban sa child labor at sisikapin po naming paunlarin ang ipinagkatiwala ninyong pangkabuhayan sa amin. (We are sincerely grateful to DOLE MIMAROPA. This is a great help, to us parents, as we support our children’s education so that they can achieve their dreams. We are with you in the government’s fight against child labor, and we will sustain the livelihood you have entrusted to us.), said Ms. Lolita M. Cubil, Chairman of the association.

Punong Barangay Menardo T. Toriana lauded the Department’s timely response in helping them to address the issues of child labor in their locality. In this way, it is expected that the children shall be protected and ensure their continuing education.

Further, DOLE OccMin Field Office Head Bernardo B. Toriano said, “Children are driven into work for various reasons. Most often, child labor occurs when families face financial challenges or uncertainty. At DOLE, we understand the potential dangers of child labor that is why we are serious in helping our barangays in eliminating it’s any form to protect our future generations against any type of abuse, exploitation, and discrimination especially during the pandemic. For the parents, take good care of the livelihood project so you can promote employment and send your children to school. In trying times like this, we need to mobilize to protect and promote the welfare of our children. The previous year may be full of challenges, but that shouldn’t prevent us from finding ways to accelerate progress and not sacrifice the future of our sons or daughters. If you develop trust and work hand-in-hand within the association, this project shall transform into a sustainable source of income”.

The Department is still continuing its profiling of child laborers to various barangays in the province and provide them with the necessary assistance to eliminate the child labor.

The DOLE livelihood assistance to parents of child laborers is a strategic response to prevent and eliminate child labor. Parents of child laborers are among the priority beneficiaries under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP). Under the Guidelines of the DILEEP, beneficiaries should not allow their children to be engaged in child labor. The livelihood assistance provided can be in the form of Negokart, starter kits, or materials needed to start a livelihood undertaking.

End/Gener L. Francisco