Citing a report of DOLE Region 6 Director Ponciano Ligutom, Jr., Baldoz said the livelihood assistance is part of the DOLE's efforts to provide families of child laborers access to livelihood opportunities to augment their income.
The four children are Sonny Palacios, 16 years old; Rennel Villaflor, 17; Jobert Ocario, 17; and Albert Bautista, 16.
Sonny and Jobert, whose parents are both dead, live with their aunts, while Rennel lives with his mother who works as a house helper and part-time laundrywoman. Albert lives with his parents who earn their living through farming and charcoal making.
They were working as migratory sugar workers or sacadas at the Hacienda Candelaria in Manapla, Negros Occidental when they were rescued sometime in 2012 by a joint operation of the DOLE, Philippine National Police, Municipal Social Welfare & Development Office of Manapla, and the National Commission on Indigenous People which reported the case and sought DOLE’s assistance for their rescue.
"The DOLE livelihood assistance to the families came in the form of livestock. Each family was given five goats valued at P10,000," Baldoz said.
The DOLE regional office turned-over the goats to the families at the Anini-y municipal hall, with Orlando Solis, representative from the Office of Mayor Reynaldo Pollicar, and Petronilo Rubite III, municipal agriculturist, as witnesses. The agriculture official provided the beneficiaries important tips on proper goat raising.
During the turnover, the DOLE reminded the parents and their relatives who accompanied them of their responsibilities to send their children back to school and to prevent them from engaging in child labor activities.
After the turnover, municipal officials facilitated the transportation of the livestock and the beneficiaries to their respective barangays.
KASAMA is a project of the DOLE which aims to contribute to the prevention and elimination of child labor by providing families of child laborers access to decent livelihood opportunities for enhanced income.
Reported by Amalia N. Judicpa