TACLOBAN CITY---Twenty child laborers from Brgy. Victory and Brgy. District I, Babatngon, Leyte are hopeful that they can go back to school by June, after the Department of Labor and Employment provided them educational assistance.
The distribution of bags and various school supplies was done during the regional launching of the campaign for the child labor-free barangays on 31 May 2012 at the DOLE Training Center, which was attended by members of the Regional Child Labor Committee, Babatngon Mayor Charita Chan, barangay captains, parents of child laborers, and the child laborers themselves.
The educational package is in exchange for the work implements or the tools of the trade of the child laborers which they surrendered to the DOLE, manifesting their step towards transformation and commitment to the campaign.
Said child laborers stopped from schooling and worked early in their lives to supplement their family income.
Arvin Matale, 13 years old and who is supposed to be in Grade 5, said that he never wanted to work as fish dealer, roaming around the town, and being exposed to the heat of the sun, just to earn commission. His intention to help his family augment their income pushed him to work.
“Pero dahil sa tulong na ito ng gobyerno lalo ng DOLE, ako po ay nagkaroon ng pag-asa na makabalik sa pagaaral, dahil hindi lang po ako binigyan ng mga school supplies, ngunit nakahanda din pong tumulong ang aming Mayor para tugonan ang iba pang pangangailangan sa aking pag-aaral”, Matale said.
DOLE Regional Director Exequiel R. Sarcauga explained that the educational assistance is just one intervention that the DOLE is willing to provide to the child laborers.
“We want to offer the child laborers and their families with a package of services not only from the DOLE, but from the other agencies of the government, NGOs, and the private sector,” Sarcauga said. (Virgilio A. Doroja, Jr., LCO – RO8)
Source: Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns