ORIENTAL MINDORO – On 12 June 2021, in celebration of the World Day Against Child Labor with the theme “Makibahagi, Makialam at Magkaisa para sa Batang Malaya”, and aiming for child-labor free country, the Department of Labor and Employment and Employment (DOLE) MIMAROPA through the Oriental Mindoro Field Office (DOLE OrMin) awarded individual livelihood projects amounting Php784,037.40 to LGU Gloria as the Accredited Co-Partner benefitting 30 parents of child laborers.

The various livelihood projects are sari-sari store, hog and poultry raising, furniture making, rice retailing, tailoring, Neko Kart and motor boat among others which cost ranges from Php20,000.00 to Php30,000.00.

Representing Regional Director Atty. Joffrey M. Suyao, DOLE MIMAROPA Assistant Regional Director Atty. Erwin N. Aquino awarded the livelihood projects to the beneficiaries thru LGU Gloria Mayor German D. Rodegerio. Also present during the ceremony was DOLE OrMin Provincial Director Roderick F. Tamacay, DILP Focal Person Ramezes R. Torres, Gloria PESO Manager Francis T. Lalo III and other municipal and barangay officials.

The parents of child laborers were thankful for being fortunate to receive the financial assistance as they can now have their own small business especially during this time of pandemic. Melanie Sanchez, one of the beneficiaries who received Php29,725.00 for her tailoring business said, “Kami ng aming pamilya ay nagpapasalamat sa gobyerno sa tulong na isa kami sa nabigyan ng pangkabuhayan at dahil sa tulong na aming natanggap, ang aming anak ay hindi na kailangang magtrabaho. Aming pong pagyayamanin at pangangalagaan ang kabuhayang aming natanggap” (My family is very thankful for the assistance of the government. Through this livelihood, our child is no longer required to work. Rest assured that we will nurture it).

In his message, ARD Atty. Aquino congratulated the beneficiaries of livelihood assistance and thanked LGU Gloria for being a partner in this endeavor. He also discussed the various forms of child labor in the country and how the government respond to these problems by providing and integrating various programs such as livelihood assistance to parents of child laborers. Also, he emphasized that DOLE and LGU Gloria was only a conduit of this fund from taxpayers and that the responsibility of beneficiaries is to take care and nurture this livelihood assistance.

Also, Mayor Rodegerio extended his gratitude to DOLE MIMAROPA for livelihood assistance intended for parents of child laborers in Gloria. He mentioned the story of a child who was featured in one of the TV shows wherein at the age of 10, the child was forced to work as a farmer thus depriving him of the right to enjoy his childhood. He said that the government is ready to assist the parents who asks for help so that children will be able to enjoy their basic rights and not become a child laborer.

The DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) or Kabuhayan Program of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), supports the government’s efforts for poverty reduction and inclusive development through entrepreneurship and community enterprise.

End/Edralin B. Magcalayo