DOLE Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante told Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, in his report that the DOLE Tarlac Field Office, under the supervision of Arlene M. Tolentino, partnered with local officials from Brgy. Ligtasan, the city government of Tarlac, and other concerned stakeholders, in launching the Campaign for a Child Labor-Free Barangay in Brgy. Ligtasan, here in Tarlac City.
Anchored on the theme “Pagtutulungan, Pagpapalaya, sa mga Batang Manggagawa,” the campaign is a convergence of programs from the government, private sector, and all concerned stakeholders, geared towards keeping children away from working at hazardous environments by doing every means to bring them back to mainstream society, where they can live again like normal children, likewise receive education, love, and care.
Brgy. Ligtasan is the 4th barangay in the region to be hailed as a “child labor-free barangay.”
Local officials present to show their support to the said campaign are Tarlac City Mayor Hon. Gelacio “Ace” Manalang, ABC President and Brgy. Captain Allan “Manchoy” Manalang of Ligtasan, Tarlac City, Acting Brgy. Captain Sonny Timbol and the rest of the Barangay Council of Brgy. Ligtasan.
Also present in the event are parents of former child laborers and children-at-risk.
Agravante and Mayor Manalang, together with other officials from the DOLE and local government, led the signing of a Pledge of Commitment to fully implement the programs and interventions that would fight for the rights of children and ensure the realization of the program.
Agravante personally thanked the local officials of the city and barangay for their unrelenting support to the programs of the DOLE and stressed the necessity of the Child Labor-Free Barangay Campaign as Central Luzon, has been, among the regions, was recorded with the high incidence of child labor, based on International Labor Organization (ILO) surveys.
“Our children should not be deprived of their rights, especially when it comes to their health and education. The name of your barangay, LIGTASAN, is very relevant to this program because it means “SAVING.” Therefore, let us do all we can, to ensure that our children here in Brgy. Ligtasan are saved from the perils of work by letting them enjoy their rights as children and ensure that they will have a bright future ahead for them all,” said Agravante.
Agravante also led the distribution of grocery items to three (3) identified child laborers in the barangay and announced that the DOLE Tarlac field Office will conduct the proper profiling of the parents of the child-laborers for possible DOLE livelihood intervention through its integrated livelihood programs such as the Negosyo sa Kariton (Negokart) Project and Kabuhayan Starter KITS.
In 2012, Barangays Sisiman in Mariveles, Bataan; Pulong, Buhangin in Sta. Maria, Bulacan; and Barangay Pandacaqui in Mexico, Pampanga, were also declared by the regional office as “Child Labor-Free Barangays.”