RIZAL, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO – On 15 February 2022, 25 parents of identified child laborers successfully finished the TESDA Community Based Skills Training on Process Food by Salting, Curing and Smoking/ Process Food by Sugar Concentration (leading to Food Processing NC II). Graduation ceremony was held at Rizal Occidental Mindoro TESDA Training and Accreditation Center (ROMTTAC), Brgy. Sto. Nino, Rizal, Occidental Mindoro.

The activity is a convergence program of the DOLE MIMAROPA thru its Occidental Mindoro Field Office and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Provincial Office to provide assistance to the families of child laborers with the goal of eliminating child labor in the province. Also, the community-based training of TESDA is primarily addressed to the poor and marginal groups, especially those who cannot access or are not accessible by formal training provisions. It is purposively designed to catalyzed the creation of livelihood enterprises that shall be implemented by the trainees, immediately after the training.

The training started on 09 December 2021 and beneficiaries were given a daily allowance amounting to Php160.00/day, a load allowance of PhP500.00, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) allowance of PhP500.00.

Ms. Rhonabelle, one of the beneficiaries expressed her gratitude to DOLE and TESDA for being part of this program, “Nagpapasalamat po kaming lahat dahil kami po ay napili ninyo para makapag-aral muli, sana mapalawak pa po namin ito. Makakasigurado po kayo na lalo pa po naming pagbubutihin ito para makatulong sa pag-aaral ng aming mga anak. Dahil sa hirap ng buhay ngayon, gusto po talaga naming mag-aral para sa oportunidad na mabigyan pa ng mas magandang buhay ang aming mga anak. Maraming-maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat” (We are all grateful for giving us an opportunity to study again. We hope we can develop our learnings even more. We assure you that we will improve it to help in our children’s education. Because of the hardships of life today, we really want to make the most of every opportunity to give our children a better life. Thank you very much to all of you.)

DOLE is now assisting the beneficiaries to have their legal identity through the registration under workers’ association then comes the technical assistance in the preparation of project proposals for their livelihood venture.

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