Press Releases
Children removed from child labor and their families organized by DOLE in Siquijor

Cebu City, Philippines. At least thirty-eight (38) families, whose children had been removed from child labor, were organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7) in the province of Siquijor.

With the local government unit of the town of Maria playing a big role in the said initiative, the Samahan ng Pamilyang Manggagawa Tungo sa Kaunlaran  (SPMTK) emerged being the first association organized in the province.

“Congratulations to the town of Maria particularly to the families involved that are now one with the Department in upholding the rights of children including their protection from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, and discrimination and other conditions prejudicial to their development, particularly child labor and its worst forms,” said DOLE-7 Regional Director, Atty. Marion S. Sevilla.

Director Sevilla underscored the importance of sustaining the status of said municipality being child labor-free, citing that being organized would easily pave the way for the members to gain access to the different programs and services of DOLE.

She said that under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), parents or guardians of profiled child laborers are eligible to avail of the department’s Kabuhayan para sa Magulang ng Batang Mangngagawa (KASAMA)- a program that will contribute to the prevention and elimination of child labor by providing families of child laborers access to decent livelihood opportunities for enhanced income.

The Regional Director lauded the efforts exerted by the department’s partner-agencies and groups particularly the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of Maria and the DOLE-Siquijor Field Office that held a lecture on Financial Literacy and Mental Health, respectively, for the members and officers of the association.

Now armed with a set of able officers, the association targets to help serve as catalysts, advocates, and information agents of the DOLE in sustaining the town’s status as a child labor-free locality.

Perlita C. Ogdol, SPMTK’s elected president, recalled how she after her husband’s death in 2015, made her son work with fishermen at the age of 12. “It was a very difficult decision to make. But what could we do? We could hardly get by every day,” she said.

Ogdol, who vowed to live by what their association stands for, could not believe how the DOLE’s profiling of child laborers in 2019 has changed their lives. “That program of DOLE changed not only my life but also the lives of my children. We are so grateful because DOLE at that time patiently conducted a series of home visitations and consultations. We’ve also learned so much from the learning sessions provided to us,” she continued.

Ogdol, among other parents of child laborers in the town of Maria, received livelihood assistance from DOLE as an offshoot of the profiling initiatives.

“The government’s thrust to help the people specially the poor is real. Now it’s but high time for us to give back to the community by actively participating in the program of DOLE that benefits the profiled child laborers and their families,” she finally said.

To help eliminate or prevent child labor, DOLE, together with its partner-agencies and groups, continuously implements its Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP) with various sub-programs that aims to remove children from child labor particularly in its worst forms.

 

End//LSenarlo-Taniza with reporting from the SFO

 

For more information on this report, you may contact LuchelSenarloTaniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer or send an email at dole_centralvisayas@yahoo.com.

 

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2021-12-14
MARION S. SEVILLA
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