"The livelihood grants were in the form of goods, materials, and tools and jigs. The award of the livelihood grants is in line with our Manila Field Office's active implementation of the DOLE's Child Labor-Free Barangay (CLFB) Campaign, a barangay-based convergence program in support of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor.
The Child Labor-Free Barangay program aims to prevent--and to progressively eliminate--child labor incidence in the country through strategic partnerships, intensified advocacy, and improving access to quality and integrated services.
Director Avila said the Manila Field Office awarded the DOLE livelihood grants to projects at the following barangays on the corresponding dates and venues: Barangay 422, Sampaloc, Manila (October 10); Barangay 14, Tondo, Manila (October 11); Barangay 649, Baseco, Port Area, Manila (October 16); Barangay 182, Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila (October 17); and, Barangay 275, Binondo, Manila (October 18).
The awards consisted of certificates of entitlement and goods, materials, and tools and jigs for various livelihoods, such as street-food vending, eateries, ready-to-wear clothing, raincoat and umbrella making, throw-pillow making, toys vending, and sari-sari store kits. The beneficiaries were also enrolled to a year-long subscription to social micro-insurance under the GSIS.
Afterwards, the parent-beneficiaries took a solemn pledge to enhance their livelihoods to support the education and welfare of their children. In return, members of the Child Labor Program Implementation Committee (PIC) and stakeholders signed the Child Labor-Free Barangay poster, a symbol of their commitment to sustain their fight against child labor.
During the awarding of the grants, Manila Field Office Director Leonides P. Castillon, Jr. exhorted the 125 parents to nurture their livelihoods so that they may earn sufficient income to feed and care for their children.
Representatives of the Child Labor Program Implementation Committee (PIC) from the respective barangays, Department of Education (DepEd) Division of City Schools Manila, the Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW), Manila Health Department, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Manila, Manila Barangay Bureau, Manila City Planning and Development Office and the Manila Public Employment and Service Office (PESO) also delivered messages for the parent-beneficiaries.
On their part, the Manila Barangay Bureau and DILG-Manila expressed their commitment to assist the barangay officials in the creation or operationalization of a functional Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC), one of nine checklist requirements for a barangay to be declared free of child labor, and in the utilization of the one per cent of the Barangay Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA) for the welfare of children.
DepEd Manila pledged to provide the identified child laborers, and even their parents, formal education, or to cover them under the Alternative Learning System (ALS). PESO Manila committed itself to referring the parents of the child laborers and other members of their family, who are employable and willing to work, to wage employment. The Manila City Health Department provided free medical and dental services and pledged to continue to provide these services to the child laborers and their families.
On its part, the Manila Department of Social Welfare promised to conduct counselling and periodic monitoring of the livelihood assistance, including the assistance under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) given to the same beneficiaries.
Finally, the barangay officials committed themselves to monitoring the incidence of child labor in their barangay, to see to it that their barangay is child labor-free, and to implement ordinances and rules for the protection of children. This is another checklist requirement for a barangay to be declared child labor-free.