As poverty greatly affects every Filipino family nowadays, the number of children who cannot afford to acquire education gets bigger.
It is believed that education is the key to a great future and that children are the hope of our nation. But what will happen if education is hard to achieve because we first need to fill our hunger? Where can our children ask for support if their parents cannot sustain their needs? Are there kind-hearted people who can find ways to reach out?
These questions were answered by a teacher named Noemi Ramirez of Guballa Elementary School in Sitio Toong, Barangay Caguray, Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro who found out that her students were only able to go to school from grade levels one to three and later on would rather stop to help their parents earn a living by means of working in a salt farm. This situation made her feel that she had to do something for these unfortunates to be able to bring changes in their lives. She came out on her way to ask assistance from the government until “Sagip Batang Manggagawa sa Asinan” was created.
In line with this, the Department of Labor and Employment launched the Workers’ Income Augmentation Program to provide a livelihood and poultry supply to the Parents and Teachers Association of the above-mentioned school. It includes supplies in hog fattening, goat raising and chicken production with a total budget of P500,000.00 from DOLE and P270,000.00 additional fund as proponent’s counterpart.
The target beneficiaries of the project were the parents of the identified child laborers. It is assumed that by means of this the child labor will be eliminated. Parents and teachers of the school have adequate years of experience in this line of business and leadership. The project is expected to earn individually a net profit of P 10,000.00 to P 15,000.00 for each of the first 6 months of its operation, and a rate of return from 30-40% in the first year.
Thirty percent of the P500,000.00 funded by the DOLE was already awarded by Ms. Zenaida A. Angara, Regional Director, DOLE Regional Office No. 4B to the Parents and Teachers Association of Guballa Elementary School through their president Ms. Meriam Bugayong. The presence of the Municipal Mayor Jennifer Fajardo was also there together with the DOLE provincial officers and other concerned individuals. The said awarding was held March 10, 2011.