The CALABARZON Child Labor Committee headed by the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office IV-A in partnership with the Regional Sub-Committee on the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) headed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development IV-A celebrated the 2011 Children’s Month with a gift-giving activity to more than 300 child laborers and students and a learning session on Child’s Protection, Child’s Right, Juvenile Justice, R. A. 9231 and Civil Registration for their parents in Brgy. Sta. Ines, Tanay, Rizal last October 21, 2011.
The said activity emphasized the importance of the role of the child within the Filipino family and nation building as stated in the Presidential Proclamation No. 267 series 1993 declaring the month of October each year as the National Children’s Month.
Tanay Mayor Rafael Tanjuatco welcomed the participants headed by DOLE IV-A Regional Director Atty. Ricardo S. Martinez Sr. who also delivered a message of commitment in combating child labor not only in the province of Rizal but all throughout the CALABARZON region.
In line with this, Dir. Martinez awarded a livelihood check worth P192,000.00 to the Barangay Government of Sta. Ines as initial capital for the Sustenance Agriculture for Nature Tourism, Arts and Indigenous Novelties for Enterprise Development (STAINES) project under the Kabuhayan Para sa Magulang ng Batang Manggagawa Project (KASAMA). This livelihood project aims to make a living and engage in income generating activity by investing on the unique indigenous character, artifacts, lifestyle, customs and traditions of the indigenous people.
Mr. Gil Zubiaga, Chairman of Brgy. Sta. Ines, accepted the livelihood check and delivered a message of gratitude for the financial assistance that will benefit 58 indigenous people and 59 parents of child laborers.
Students from the Sta. Ines Elementary School and Sta. Ines National High School likewise showed their talents to the members of the CCLC. Some members of the Dumagat tribe also presented a traditional dance that showed their rich culture and heritage.
Brgy. Sta. Ines is an upland settlement approximately 45 kilometers from the town proper and two-hour jeepney-ride crossing 9 branches of the Lanatin River and passing through a rough road terrain of the Sierra Madre Mountain. The indigenous people from the Dumagat and Remontado tribes are also inhabitants of the village.
Farming is the main source of livelihood in the area but income from this economic activity is not enough to sustain their families. Iron ore mining had been the alternative source of income which offers attractive price which support their daily needs. However, children are being used for this livelihood and most of them drop out from school which hampers their educational opportunity, growth and development.
Since Sta. Ines is rich in natural resources, the barangay government proposed 3 projects: (1) Eco-tourism intends to provide a transient stay for the tourist such as backpacker, rock climbers, nature trail adventures, bird watchers and mountain hikers; (2) Arts and indigenous novelties will be in the production of souvenir items and artistic renditions expressive of their tribe’s identity and 3) Sustenance agriculture to enhance their knowledge of food production using the natural and organic farming on upland fertile soil, propagation of native livestock, exotic flora and fauna and promotion of agri-educational tours and agro-tourism. With this alternative source of livelihood, it is hoped that children will be removed from the hazardous activity of ore crushing and grinding. The livelihood check awarded by Dir. Martinez will be used for these projects.
Mr. Eduardo R. Nicolas III of RTIPC-IVA, Inc., in his closing remarks, shared an inspiring story about his experiences as a little boy that shaped him to a very successful man today.
Members of the CCLC are: TESDA IV-A, DSWD IV-A, DepEd IV-A, CHED IV-A, DILG IV-A, NEDA IV-A, PNP IV-A, NBI IV-A, CHR IV, NSO IV-A, PIA IV-A, DOJ-NPO IV, DA IV-A, DOH IV-A, DOT IV, NCIP IV, RTIPC-IVA, Inc. and PESO Federation IV-A.
Franz Raymond J. Aquino
LEO I, TSSD
Regional Labor Communications Officer