With the theme, "Pagtutulungan, Pagpapalaya sa mga Batang Manggagawa," DOLE-9 Asst. Regional Director, Virginia L. Bonbon said that the battle for the elimination and prevention of child labor is going down to the grassroots level.
A symbolic turn-over of work implements of the trade was done in Bulatoc, considered to have high incidence of children at risk of becoming child laborers because of its proximity to the Integrated Bus Terminal, in exchange for educational packages containing backpack, notebooks, drawing books, ball pens, pencils, pencil case, crayons, writing pads, sharpener, eraser and other school supplies.
ARD Bonbon said DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has directed all regional directors to reactivate the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) in their areas of jurisdiction to assist them in the task.
The campaign aims to encourage, to influence change, identify the roles and solicit commitment of stakeholders; local government units particularly the barangay concerned, national government agencies, non-government organizations, private sector and parents of child laborers to help in ensuring that children are enjoying their rights and are not engaged in child labor", said Mayor Samuel Co in his message delivered by City Tourism Council Chairperson, Dr. Priscilla M. Fernandez.
Barangay officials led by Paul Ryan Teves signed a commitment to attain a child labor-free barangay by fully committing themselves to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, protect them from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination and other conditions detrimental to their development.
Also present were PIA-9 regional director, Noemi B. Edaga, DepEd supervisors Vivian B. Dacula and Dr. Remedios Bulahan, DOLE intermediaries in the persons of Ms. Ermah Sheila Roble, president of the ZamPen GCNetwork; GCNet Pagadian City Chapter president, Ms. Mary Jane Omandam, TIPC Vice-Chair for Management, Mr. Levi Cabatcha, OSHNet president, Engr. Rodrigo T. Templado, media partners and other stakeholders.