HARRISON, PALUAN, OCC. MINDORO – 11 June 2021, The Department of Labor and Employment MIMAROPA through its Occ. Mindoro Field Office provided grocery packages to 50 parents of child laborers in celebration of the 2021 World Day Against Child Labor.

Annually, the Department of Labor and Employment MIMAROPA celebrates the World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) in June to raise awareness on the plight of child laborers and to demonstrate the country’s solidarity in the worldwide campaign against child labor. With this year’s theme, “Makibahagi, Makialam, at Magkaisa para sa #BatangMalaya“, DOLE Occ. Mindoro holds the celebration at Sitio Pamutusin, Barangay Harrison in LGU Paluan.

Social partners include the Local Government Units (LGUs), Public Employment Service Offices (PESO), Philippine National Police (PNP), Municipal Health Office (MHO), Municipal Local Government and Operations Office, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO). Part of the celebration was seminars from the partners discussing the rights of the child. They also shared their programs, services, and contributions in eliminating child labor and what can be done to help these children. However, it was still emphasized that parents have the biggest role in shaping the futures of their child’s life.

Furthermore, the consequences of child labor were also discussed. Because children differ physically from adults, they are more susceptible to specific work hazards. They may get involved in hazardous activities that may compromise their physical, mental, social, or educational development.

In his message, DOLE OccMin Field Office Head Bernardo B. Toriano, emphasized that education, regardless of age and time, must be the top priority of the children for them to reach their dreams. “All children, regardless of race, social and economic status, are entitled to enjoy their childhood years to grow up fully and naturally. They have the right to love, education, and protection. Understanding these rights is the first step in preventing child labor. And by supporting these children in their education, they can always look forward to a better future, who knows, the future mayor, vice-mayor, chief of police, engineer, or lawyers may come from this barangay”, he said.

While these parents’ children are just a fraction of the population of child laborers and or children at risk, a much more thorough action must be done to continuously address this situation.

For DOLE, the profiling of child laborers is one of its strategic way of withdrawing children from child labor. Then, they will assess their needs and refer these children and their families to appropriate agencies and organizations for the necessary assistance to remove them from child labor. The profiling of child laborers in Occidental Mindoro has already begun and shall continue for six (6) months. The profiling was undertaken by interns under DOLE Government Internship Program.

End/Gener L. Francisco