Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said that parents 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 will receive P11.9 million in assistance to help them become self-sufficient.
The estimated total number of children to benefit from this assistance is 3,700.
"The government hopes that the 305,000 CCT beneficiaries in 17 regions about to 'graduate' from the program will be self-sufficient by the end of the year. The DOLE, through the "H.E.L.P. M.E." Convergence Program on Child Labor, will provide livelihood to parent-beneficiaries whose children are at risk of going back to child labor," said Baldoz.
"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.
Baldoz's statement came following the conduct by the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the 6th Regional Directors' Consultation Workshop, "Converging Efforts Towards Effective Transition", in Baguio City to solicit commitment on how to strengthen collaboration in the implementation of the CCT.
Baldoz said the DOLE support to the CCT 'graduates' will come in the form of livelihood assistance worth P11.9 million, or five percent of the Workers Income Augmentation Program (WINAP) funds.
"The DOLE has set aside this amount and we will dovetail this with the H.E.L.P. M.E. Convergence Program on Child Labor and the DOLE's Campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays. We will work in convergence with the DSWD and our other partners," she explained.
“The BWC will publish the names and addresses of the beneficiaries of this program for transparency,” she added.
The DSWD has already provided the DOLE with a list of municipalities where the first batch of beneficiaries of the livelihood assistance comes from, according to the labor and employment chief.
"Our DOLE regional offices have listed down the barangays for convergence with DSWD," she said.
Baldoz further explained that some DOLE regional offices have convened their respective Regional Child Labor Committee (RCLC) to discuss the department's engagement with the DSWD. They also have oriented their RCLC on the H.E.L.P. M.E. Convergence Program on Child Labor and given updates on the DOLE's Campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays.
In the National Capital Region, Baldoz said the DOLE-NCR has already obtained from the DSWD a list of CCT beneficiaries from which list the targets of livelihood assistance will be selected. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, on the other hand, has given the DOLE data on marginalized barangays to complement the Campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays.
In Region 6, the DOLE regional office has developed a transition action plan towards the provision of assistance to 225 child laborers after a consultation meeting with program partners.
The action plan includes capability building for livelihood formation and livelihood enhancement; skills training for out-of-school youth through technical vocational and education training (TVET), or by community-based training in coordination with non-government organizations; and training on management of child labor victims of illegal recruitment. The plan also calls for the maintenance of a profiling system of beneficiaries for employment facilitation and micro-enterprise development.
In Region 9, the RCLC has likewise developed a convergence action plan for the CCT 'graduates' consisting of three strategies, namely (1) identification and profiling of child laborers; (2) advocacy; and (3) livelihood for parents of child laborers.
To sustain the momentum of the anti-child labor advocacy in Region 10, the DOLE regional office, in coordination with the DSWD, has conducted a series of community-based anti-child labor advocacy orientation on R. A. No. 9231, or the Anti-Child Labor Law, for some 2,625 CCT beneficiaries.