Alarmed by the results of the 2011 NSO Survey on Children showing the Bicol region in second place, next only to Region 3, in having the highest incidence of child labor, DOLE Regional Office No. 5 Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra yesterday said the regional office is holding a fun run called “Run Against Child Labor” on 8 December 2012, along Legazpi City Boulevard in Legazpi City.
In a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Lacambra said the “Run Against Child Labor” is a five-kilometer single-event advocacy marathon aimed at raising the people's level of awareness on the menace of child labor. The event is supported by various government agencies, private partners, and NGOs region-wide.
"We have to erase the public image of Bicol as a child-labor region and dislodge it from the No. 2 position," said Lacambra, citing the results of the survey, commissioned by the International Labor Organization, that peg the number of child laborers in Bicol at 300,000, only 16,000 lesser than that of Region 3 which has an estimated 316,000 children in child labor
“Actually up to now, we are still in the process of validating the results of the survey. It’s hard to accept that we have this figure. This is the reason why we need to step-up our child labor program.
This marathon will triple the reach of our advocacy. Together, we would like to tell the world we do not want child labor in Bicol,” Lacambra stressed.
The “Run Against Child Labor” marathon is a collaborative event, with the DOLE-V Employees Cooperative (DOLEVECCO), the DOLE-V Employees Union (DOLE-V EU), and the DOLE Regional Coordinating Committee as collaborators. The fun run is one of the regional office's celebratory activities for the DOLE's 79th Foundation anniversary on December 8.
DOLEVECCO Chairman and DOLE-V EU President Raymond Escalante said the fun run is the organizations' way of showing their support to the leadership of Secretary Baldoz and her anti-child labor agenda.
"The employees' union and the cooperative do not only think of benefits, but they also share the burden on how to achieve our goal of eliminating child labor, particularly in its worst forms. Through cooperation with our leaders here in the region and at the central office, we know we could end this child labor menace in Bicol," he said.
The fun run, Director Lacambra said, is a contest, and winners will receive P7,000 for 1st prize, P5,000 for 2nd prize, and P3,000 for 3rd prize.
The proceeds of the marathon will be allotted for the 2013 Project Angel Tree, which gets 30 percent share. Project Angel Tree is an annual gift-giving and feeding event sponsored by the DOLE in partnership with private establishments.
Participants in the “Run Against Child Labor” will be charged a registration fee of P200, inclusive of a t-shirt. Handling the advocacy run are Imelda E. Romanillos, Ching Banania, Cyre Cabredo, and Ma. Ella E. Verano, focal persons. Registration will open on 12 November.
“We hope every Bicolano will support our war against child labor. I invite everyone, to go out and join us in this noble cause,” DOLE Bicol Asst. Regional Director Exequiel Ronnie A. Guzman said.
For more details about the fun run, contact Ms. Imelda E. Romanillos at 0939 7721296; Ching Banania at 0919 3588950; Cyre Cabredo at 0929 1503282 or at (052) 480-5830 to 31; or Ms. Ella Verano at 480-5987 or 0921 7118178.
Raymond P. Escalante