DOLE Regional Director Atty. Ana C. Dione reported to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, that Brgy. Sisiman, which is one of 18 barangays in the Municipality of Mariveles and part of the pilot areas of the simultaneous nation-wide launching of the Campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays in 2012, has undertaken notable measures in supporting the country’s Child Labor Program (CLP).
According to Brgy. Sisiman Chairman Maximo Barcena, the Sangguniang Barangay (SB), through the Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) of Mariveles, established its own Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) which primarily focuses on implementing various programs to benefit the youth.
“Upang mabigyan ng kaukulang pansin ang pagsugpo ng child labor dito sa aming barangay, kami po ay nag-organisa ng BCPC at nagtayo rin ng opisina nito kung saan kami ay nagpapatupad ng iba’t ibang programa at aktibidad para gabayin ang mga kabataan dito upang sila ay maging responsable at pahalagaan nila ang kanilang mga sarili,” Barcena said.
To prevent “children at risk” from working at a very young age, Barcena noted that the Sangguniang Barangay has partnered with the local government, through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), for the employment facilitation of some 1,000 residents to various locators of the Free Area of Bataan (FAB).
“Kami po ay nakipag-ugnayan sa ating lokal na pamahalaan, sa pamamagitan ng PESO, gayun din sa Authority of the Freeport Are of Bataan (AFAB), para tulungan pong mabigyan ng trabaho ang mga ka-barangay namin. Sa kasalukuyan, marami sa kanila ay nagtrarabaho bilang factory worker sa iba’t ibang pagawaan dito sa FAB,” Barcena said.
Brgy. Kagawad Alfredo Gabiola. who chairs the Committee on Health and Social Welfare, added that, before, children were compelled to work with their fisherfolk-parents at the Sisiman Bay because of the barangay’s economic condition.
“Meron pong tuna processing industry dito. Dati, yung mga menor de edad namin, sumasama sa mga magulang nila sa pangingisda. Pero ngayon, mahigpit na po naming pinagbabawalan ito kaya naman kami po ay nagagalak na ang mga kabarangay namin ay nabigyan ng pagkakataon upang makapagtrabaho sa mga kumpanya dito sa FAB,” Gabiola said.
Gabiola also shared that the SB has already passed several resolutions/ordinances which are geared to boost youth empowerment.
“Sa kooperasyon at suporta ng aming mga kabarangay, ganun din ng lokal na pamahalaan at ilang mga malalaking kumpanya dito sa Mariveles, kami po ay nagsanib-pwersa sa SB para ipasa ang ilang mga barangay resolution na alam naming makakatulong ng malaki sa mga kabataan,” Gabiola said, adding:
“Sa kasalukuyan, meron kaming mga 30 na out-of-school youths na tinutulungan sa kanilang pag-aaral sa tulong ng Department of Education (DepEd) sa kanilang Alternative Learning System (ALS). Samantala, linagyan naming ng mga aircon ang mga silid-aralan ng aming Day Care Center para mas makapag aral ng wasto ang mga bata.”
So far, the SB has passed the following Brgy. Resolutions:
· Brgy. Resolution No. 24 series of 2011 – Realigning existing funds for the creation of a multipurpose center or recreational area which would include a basketball and playground.
· Brgy Resolution No. 24 series of 2012 – Prohibiting the “Pangpayaw” fisherfolks/operators of bangkas from hiring minors, studying or OSYs (17yrs old and below).
· Brgy Resolution No. 28 series of 2012 – Requesting tables from Herma Shipyard for tables and chairs to be used for the multipurpose hall that would be used for the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
· Brgy Ordinance No. 1 series of 2012 – Prohibiting the passage of trucks/vehicles along Rosal St., which is known to be an accident-prone area and near to the multipurpose area.
· Brgy. Resolution No. 18 series of 2014 – Requesting Iwahori Philippines to provide 2 air conditioners for the Brgy.’s Day Care Center.
To further boost Brgy Sisiman’s campaign to fight child labor, Brgy. Sisiman was recently awarded by the Municipal Government of Mariveles, as 2nd Placer for the 2014 Search for Best Child-Friendly Barangay, with monetary cash-award amounting to P15,000.00.
Aside from this, the DOLE Bataan Field Office, under the supervision of Chief Labor and Employment Officer Leilani Reynoso, recently provided an update on the Child Labor-Free Barangay Advocacy and Orientation on Barangay Council for the Protection of Children in Brgy. Sisiman, attended by SB members, parents, and nearby residents.
Bannering on the theme “Pagtutulungan, Pagpapalaya sa mga Batang Manggagawa,” Reynoso, who served as keynote speaker, stressed the importance of the existence of the Council, its officials, and what they can do to effectively implement the program.
“Napakahalaga po na meron kayong BCPC dito sa Sisiman dahil ito po ay nangangahulugang kayo po ay nakikiisa sa layunin ng gobyerno sa pagsugpo ng ano mang klaseng child labor. Malaki pong bagay na nakapagpasa na ang Sisiman ng ilang resolusyon at ordinansa para paigtingin ang mga programang nauukol para sa mga kabataan upang makasigurado po tayo na sila ay magkaroon ng pagkakataon na makapag-aral at makapaglaro at ligtas sila sa anu mang uri ng trabaho na maaaring nilang ikapahamak,” Reynoso said.
Together with all stakeholders, the parents pledged to sustain the education of their children by keeping them away from hazardous work activities through the sigining of a “Pledge of Commitment.”
The DOLE Bataan Field Office also spearheaded a gift-giving activity for the children present during the event and likewise handed over educational packages to selected 33 “children at risk.”
The Child Labor Free Barangay Campaign aims to free identified barangay from child labor, and also to influence change, identify allies, and solicit commitments of support of stakeholders, specifically government and agencies, non-government, private sector establishment and the parents of child laborers themselves the first step towards self-transformation and empowerment through education and other interventions.
DOLE Regional Office No. 3