CALAPAN CITY, ORIENTAL MINDORO – On 31 December 2018, merely one day before New Year and a day after the widespread flooding in Calapan City and seven municipalities in the province, 34 parents of child labourers and children at risks in Brgy. Lazareto, Calapan City were lucky enough having received from DOLE-MIMAROPA the goods, raw materials, tools, equipment and jigs necessary to start up their respective livelihood projects.

The various livelihood projects has the total amount of PhP676,740.45 involving the operation of small businesses like carenderia, sari-sari store, dressmaking/tailoring, pagtitinda ng nylon at kawil, pillow cases and curtains making, goto house, street food vending (kikiam, fish balls, squid balls, quail eggs, cheese sticks, hotdogs, hotcakes, buko salad, ice candy, fried chicken, kakanin), tri bike fish vending, bigasan, bangka pangingisda, pangangalakal ng bakal, tanso, plastic, bote, atbp.

This has been implemented through the DOLE’s direct administration hence DOLE Oriental Mindoro through its Workers Protection and Welfare Unit headed by Mr. Ramezes R. Torres – LEO III (assisted by Mary Ann B. Dudas – LEO I/ Employment Facilitation Unit Head) was so busy during the holiday season doing the canvass and procurement of goods, materials, tools and jigs from various establishments in Calapan City.

The awarding was done by Regional Director Joel M. Gonzales together with DOLE – Oriental Mindoro personnel Mr. Torres, Ms. Dudas and Joyce Vasquez. Also present during this event were Dr. Eder Apolinar M. Redublo – Calapan City PESO Manager and Mr. Alexander M. Lasco – Chairman of Brgy Lazareto.

Words of appreciation for DOLE were heard from the following:

One of the children: “Maraming salamat po sa DOLE… ngayon po naniniwala na ako na mayroong ahensya ng gobyerno na handang tumulong at tugunan ang mga kahilingan at pangangailangan ng gaya naming mahihirap lamang (Thank you so much DOLE for letting me realize that government really responds with the needs of the poor families .”

Parent- representative: “Hindi po namin akalain na ang ganitong pagkakaloob ng kabuhayan ay magiging makatotohanan. Kaya nga po noong isinasagawa ang interview para alamin kung sino ang mga child labourer dito sa aming barangay ay may mga hindi naging cooperative, ayaw magpa-interview. Buti na lamang at kami ay nakiisa kaya heto ngayon meron kaming tinanggap na napakahalagang biyaya na siguradong mapagkukunan ng aming kabuhayan. Maraming maraming salamat po sa DOLE. Asahan niyo po na aming palalaguin itong napakahalagang regalong kaloob niyo sa amin at ngayon ay may linaw na kakayanin na naming matustusan ang pag-aaral ng aming mga anak. Maraming salamat po sa DOLE” (We did not expect that this dream of having a small business will do come true. During the profiling to check if there are child laborers in the barangay, some of the families were hesitant with the interview. We chose to cooperate with the enumerators thus, we are given this livelihood assistance as an additional source of income. Thank you so much DOLE for this, rest assured that we will nurture this grant to help us sending our children to school).

Brgy. Chairman Lasco and Dr. Redublo: “The livelihood projects provided will surely made difference in the lives of Calapeños. I am hoping that DOLE through Director Gonzales and DOLE Oriental Mindoro will always be there willing to assist constituents of Calapan City in the future”.

In his message, RD Gonzales congratulated the recipients, asked for their diligence in the operation of their livelihood undertakings for their own economic growth, and hoped that their children would no longer be required working, instead they should be required staying in the classroom building where they really belong.

Lastly, RD Gonzales recognized the DOLE FO for the indefatigable effort exerted to have the various projects awarded before year 2018 ends.