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DOLE sets commitments for household beneficiaries ‘graduating’ from CCT program likely to revert to child laborers in hazardous workplace

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the DOLE will work hard to honor the commitments it has set for household beneficiaries who are about to transition out of the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program this year and whose children are most likely to engage or revert to child labor.

Baldoz made this pronouncement after DOLE Assistant Secretary Gloria Tango briefed her on the DOLE’s and other government agencies’ commitment firmed up during the 7th Pantawid Pamilya Regional Directors’ Consultation Workshop held in Dumaguete City last week.  The consultation workshop was organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The DOLE, Asst. Secretary Tango reported, committed the following as its share in the convergent efforts to assist the graduating CCT household beneficiaries.

(1)   Profiling of the CCT household beneficiaries with children who are at risk of becoming child laborers;

(2)   Provision of livelihood assistance to parents (for enhancement since the DSWD will provide the start-up assistance);

(3)   Special program for the Employment of Students (SPES) for qualified dependents;

(4)   Training for Work Scholarship Program; and

(5)   Employment facilitation for wage employment.

“We will exert efforts to deliver on these commitments,” Baldoz said, adding that it has already disbursed P11.9 million in assistance to help CCT household beneficiaries with children who are at risk of becoming child laborers become self-sufficient.

“The estimated total number of children to benefit from this assistance is 3,700,” said Baldoz.

The DSWD said there are 305,000 CCT beneficiaries in 17 regions about to ‘graduate’ from the program,  and Baldoz said the DSWD will cover them in the modified and expanded CCT with a bigger budget allocation in 2014 to include provision of livelihood opportunities to be self-sufficient by the end of the year,

She said the DOLE, through the “H.E.L.P. M.E.” Convergence Program on Child Labor, will also provide livelihood to parent-beneficiaries whose children are at risk of going back to child labor based on its budget allocation for 2014.

“H.E.L.P. M.E.”,  which stands for health, education, livelihood, and prevention, protection, and prosecution, monitoring and evaluation, is the Aquino III administration’s convergence program on child labor envisioned to contribute to the realization of the country’s  ultimate Millennium Development Goal of eradicating poverty through decent work.

The CCT program now includes families which have child laborers to help address the problem of child labor, especially those in hazardous occupations, and availment of the cash grant is conditioned on the absence of child laborers in the beneficiary’s family.  This conditionality was approved by the National Advisory Committee of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,  popularly known as 4Ps, in its modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Families in Need of Special Protection, or CCT for FNSP, which caters to families, including those with child laborers, who are in need of special protection.

Assistant Secretary Tango also reported that the Departments of Agriculture, Health, Tourism, Interior and Local Government, Education, and Social Welfare and Development each made their own commitments during the consultation workshop, as follows:

(1)   DA: provision of training for farmers on vegetable and other high-value crops; provision of post-harvest facilities; construction of farm-to-market roads, and construction of irrigation system;

(2)   DOH: sponsorship for PhilHealth membership; provision of medicines, drugs, and vaccines; delivery of health services through RNHeals;

(3)   Department of Tourism: create jobs and enterprise opportunities through sustainable, multi-program and community projects in identified tourism areas;

(4)   DILG: support in the profiling of the CCT beneficiaries; mainstream interventions in local development plans; forge MOAs with the LGUs;

(5)   DepEd: provision of continuing access to free basic education; provision of remedial instructions through the Alternative Learning System; and

(6)   DSWD: extension of subsidy to children aged 14-18 who are still in school. And continuing conduct of family development sessions.

END

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