General Santos City - More than fifty (50) children have benefited from an Outreach cum Project Angel Tree of the DOLE Gensan Field Office in partnership with the Provincial Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (PTIPC) SARGEN in February this year at the Divine Mercy Community, PI-3, Brgy. Dadiangas North, General Santos City.
Children profiled to be at risk in the community were those who go on board buses to sweep floors and wipe the bus seats and take out the trash. Half of the profiled children were known to be food servers during activities at the oval plaza especially during big occasions such as Kalilangan Festival and Tuna Festival. There were also children who were profiled to be doing scavenging metal scraps and plastics. These children join their parents in roaming around different locations in the city to help their parents look for scraps. As young as ages 6-15, these young children strive their best to thrive in an impoverished community within the city.
During the said activity, the DOLE and PTIPC were able to provide schoolbags, school supplies and hygiene kits to these at-risk children. A private establishment also sponsored coloring books and crayons that were given to the young children. There were also fun games and entertainment given by the kids. Parents of the children were also present during the activity.
Mr. Maynard Jamolod, Focal Person of the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program, in his opening remarks, stated that in order for children to be protected against child labor, they must be in school and enjoy the rights provided for them by the State. He also emphasized that these children, even if they wanted to help their parents to earn a little income must not be engaged in hazardous and exploitative work.
The activity was well supported by the DOLE Gensan personnel and the Barangay Council of Dadiangas North. It was also through the help of the Catholic Youth Ministry that the activity was made possible. END/SDumalay
***Article from DOLE Regional Office No. 12