Cebu City, Philippines (06 June 2023). Some 200 profiled child laborers in Negros Oriental have become more knowledgeable of their rights and the ways on how to protect themselves after the successful holding of the World Day Against Child Labor (WDCAL) celebration yesterday in Bais City.
Mostly aged 15 to 17 years old, the children received inputs about their rights and the ways by which they could protect themselves against bullying, cybercrime and the various forms of scams that have proliferated over the internet.
“Educating the children and making them more aware of these realities around them is essential so that they will learn how to exercise caution especially when they use the internet. They are vulnerable and very susceptible to abuse. And reintroducing them to their various rights as well as providing them an avenue to understand about bullying, cybercrime and the different types of scams lurking around them would be a bold step in making them free from being victimized by unscrupulous individuals or groups,” said DOLE-7 Regional Director, Lilia A. Estillore, who also congratulated the Negros Oriental Field Office (NOFO) for taking the lead of the said activity.
She thanked the DOLE-7’s partner agencies who played a vital role in educating the children. The Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) of the Philippine National Police (PNP); the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of Bais City; and the DOLE-Negros Oriental Field Office provided the informative sessions to the children.
The children, who all come from Bais City were joined by their parents, who were also monitored and guided in the identification of their respective livelihood projects.
According to NOFO OIC-Ma. Teresa D. Tanquiamco, the Voice of the Free Philippines and the Technical Educational Skills Development Authority (TESDA) provided training assessment lectures to parents of profiled child laborers enabling them to enhance their skills and livelihood opportunities.
Under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), an important component is the provision of livelihood assistance to the parents and/or guardians of child laborers dubbed as the DOLE Kabuhayan Para Sa Magulang ng Batang Manggagawa (KASAMA).
“This is a program that continues to serve as a preventive measure against child labor in the region through the provision of livelihood opportunities to the parents and/or guardians of profiled child labors. With this, we aim to prevent and eliminate the occurrence of child labor incidences in the region by increasing the financial capacities of families, which will ensure that the children will not have to work anymore and that they will be able to go to school,” said Director Estillore.
Sealing the efforts exerted under the DOLE’s Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP), Bais City Mayor Luigi Marcel T. Goñi and the rest of the stakeholders involved did the symbolic commitment signing with each one vowing to make the municipality a child labor-free community.
“We are very happy learning that Mayor Goñi announced that they have allocated educational assistance worth P6,000.00 for each profiled family in the city. He also pledged to gather all government agencies to collaborate in making Bais a child labor-free city in Negros Oriental. This is very promising since we are assured that we get the support from the LGU,” said the regional head, who said that it is also her wish for other LGUs to demonstrate the same vigor and enthusiasm in the fight against child labor.
Other parallel activities that took place during the celebration were the Free Haircut Services provided by TESDA; the feeding of and distribution of goodies to the children; and the holding of Parlor Games by the PNP-Bais through its Women and Children Protection Desk; among others.
On 12 June, DOLE-7 will hold another activity in relation to the World Day Against Child Labor. “This time, it will be held in Cebu City in time of the 125th Philippine Independence and Nationhood celebration. With our efforts put together, we hope that all our children will be finally free from child labor and from all forms of danger and abuses,” Director Estillore finally quipped.
End//LSenarlo-Taniza with reports from NOFO
For more information on this report, you may contact LuchelSenarloTaniza, Regional Labor Information Officer, by sending an email at email@example.com.