June 12 of every year marks the celebration of Philippine Independence as well as the observance of the World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) as governed by the International Labour Organization (ILO). This year, the campaign focused on child labour and supply chains; all supply chains, from agriculture to manufacturing, services to construction, run the risk that child labor may be present (ctto ILO).
As DOLE Occidental Mindoro observed WDACL, back-to-back advocacies were conducted in Barangays Iling Proper and Iriron from the municipalities of San Jose and Calintaan on June 23 & 24, 2016. A total of 60 children at risk of becoming child laborers and their parents were given lectures on the importance of education.
“Your children must finish their studies, no matter how difficult life is. Always remember that poverty should never be a hindrance to success and education. Our Office is here to support you that’s why we are requesting for your commitment to never engage your children in any form of child labor and instead promote and protect their rights,” DOLE Occidental Mindoro Field Officer Roy V. Balleza said as he challenged all the parents present in the activity.
Acknowledging the fact that eliminating child labor in the community could not be addressed by one sector alone but through building a broad coalition among the various key players in the area, the PNP, DepEd, DILG, Municipal Mayors, PESO Managers, MSWDOs, Barangay Captains, BCPCs and Municipal Health Offices were invited and there, commitment signing was undertaken. These agencies committed to serve as DOLE’s effective partners in making this campaign even stronger. Consultation and involvement of each agency in planning and implementation of child labor-free programs and activities were plotted to be done religiously.
Some of the highlights of the program are the discussion on the overview of the Campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays, the indicators and strategies to be undertaken to ensure that no activities of child labor and its worst forms are present in the community, followed by the distribution of educational supplies to the children.
Parents, on the other hand, were gathered to consult them on the possible livelihood projects they may venture in. They were advised to form an association and then register it with DOLE under Workers Association. The department will then assist them in crafting their livelihood project proposal and in making this project sustainable through financial grant and provision of related trainings. Livelihood program of the department enables organized groups to be self-sufficient and pushes them towards a viable community enterprise.
Together, eliminating child labor is possible and affordable…if the world wills it and fight for it.
End/Gener L. Francisco
DOLE OcciMin LCO Designate
Article from DOLE MIMAROPA Website