arian College - a local college in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay was able to gather more than 200 sets of school supplies from its generous benefactors in Manila and brought it to the children in Siloh. Their team was composed of 16 student-volunteers and two personnel headed by Sr. Judith and Ms. Jonie Yap. The team from the Department of Education, Division of Zamboanga Sibugay headed by the Education Supervisor Mrs. Monalisa Babiera has also gathered more than 100 sets of new slippers from its sponsors while the DOLE added 50 sets of new slippers which was distributed to the child laborers and selected pupils of Siloh Elementary School.
A short program was prepared by the teaching staff of Siloh Elementary School to formalize the distribution which was graced by the PESO Manager of Siay, Mrs. Iraine N. Gomera, who, in her message informed the audience that the LGU has preparedanother gift-giving event to the child laborers in Siloh which will happen sometime in August 2015. The District Supervisor of Siay, Mrs. Genoveva Sasota, was also present and committed to strengthen their role as educators by monitoring and encouraging child laborers to attend their classes every day. Mrs. Sasota also challenged the parents to help their children stay in school and not force them to work in risky environment.
The Child-Labor Free Barangay Program of the DOLE was launched in Barangay Siloh, Siay Zamboanga Sibugay in September 2014. The goal of the program is to influence change to the child laborers and their parents to eliminate child labor in their barangay and call for action from key stakeholders particularly the local government, non-government organizations and local leaders to support the program. Since its launching last year, the DOLE has already initiated various activities like the Municipal Stakeholders meeting, Pamaskong Handog Para sa mga Batang Manggagawa, Entrepreneurship Development Training and organizational Development Training for Parents.
In a message, DOLE RO-9 Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano stated, “the fight against child labor is also a fight against poverty. Our struggle to eliminate this recurrent problem may not be easy but it is attainable, especially if there is partnership and collaboration between and among government agencies, local leaders, private institutions and other stakeholders for development. With these partnerships and collaborations we hope to make a change and difference in the lives of the child laborers and their parents.”
Edyll Grace P. Poligrates, ZSFO