The Department of Labor and Employment has devised measures and responses to rescue children from worst forms of labor in the country through its Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP). Among the strategic initiative is the provision of livelihood grants to parents of child laborers through its DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) or Kabuhayan Program.
As of August, this year, DOLE XI has already exceeded its target by 4% for parents of child laborers to be assisted wherein 139 parent-beneficiaries throughout the region were already given livelihood assistance.
Recently, DOLE XI-Davao Oriental Field Office hiked up the figure after identifying children who were engaged in various fishing and aquaculture works in Mati City. As an intervention, the Office awarded livelihood starter kits worth Php 627,500 in sum to 45 parents of child laborers on September 21, 2022. Out of the total, 36 parents received rice retail package which included 10 sacks of 25kg rice, weighing scale, calculator, and plastic cellophanes. While six (6) parents received sari-sari store package consisted of 21 kinds of basic goods such as instant noodles, canned goods, and coffee.
In addition to preventing the incidence of child labor, the assistance intended to address the economic gap and bring forth immediate augmentations to family incomes.
Mrs. Charmel Camino, one of the parent-beneficiaries, shared that the livelihood assistance would be extremely beneficial to her as a mother who handles budgeting in the household. “DOLE has already done their job to assist us. Now, I challenge my fellow parents here today to be optimistic despite the challenges that we face. Let us show them our dedication and our willingness to thrive. Let us promise DOLE that from now on, our children will only focus on their schooling, enjoy their childhood, and will never engage in any labor,” to which her fellow parent-beneficiaries agreed in unison.
DOLE XI-DOFO Provincial Head Rodolfo Castro, Jr. took delight in the commitment of these parent- beneficiaries to start anew and thanked them for their cooperation. “We are glad to see how motivated and encouraged you are to gift our children with better and healthier lives. With your undertaking, of course, DOLE XI will hopefully achieve its goal to downright eradicate child labor here in Davao Oriental and the entire nation.”
Also present during the awarding were DOLE XI-DOFO CLPEP Focal Person Francis Dominique Y. Nazario and CLPEP Community Facilitator Xophia Bernadine Bouffard.
In one of his messages, DOLE XI Regional Director Atty. Randolf C. Pensoy emphasized that aside from the cash assistance, the parent-beneficiaries will be provided with training on basic entrepreneurship and continuing technical advisory services in partnership with private and government offices.