The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has stepped up its child labor prevention and elimination campaign in the province of Misamis Oriental.
Through its Eastern Misamis Oriental Provincial Field Office (EMO PFO), and in coordination with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Claveria, it facilitated the Project Angel Tree and distributed school supplies for the 268 preschool and elementary students of Cabacungan Elementary School, on 5 December 2016.
EMO PFO Head Errol A. Natividad said that the Project Angel Tree, a component of DOLE’s Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program, provides an array of social services, like the distribution of the said school supplies, made available by sponsors or benefactors (‘angels’) to child laborers and their families.
“Project Angel Tree aims to improve the economic and social conditions of child laborers and their families and increase the number of allies and advocates of child labor prevention and elimination,” Natividad said.
He reported that 12 private sector companies which are members of the Family Welfare Committee of the department sponsored the gifts to some 66 child laborers with ZABDIEL Foundation Inc. as one of the sponsors.
Cabacungan Elementary School Principal Jay Pe L. Paculanan reminded the parents of the beneficiaries that the main priority for their children should be their education.
Paculanan also reminded the parents to avoid sending their children to work in the fields or hazardous work place.
“There is a satisfactory decrease in the number of identified child laborers. With this program may this reduction continue and hopefully eradicate child laborers in the work field,” said the principal.
“Ang akong basis ana mao nga naa koy unom ka grade 6 students nga child laborer, karon tulo nalang sila unya amu sila ga monitoron karon. (My basis for the decrease is previously, I had six Grade 6 students who were child laborers, now only three of them are left and currently monitoring them regularly),” Paculanan said.
Natividad meanwhile shared that Cabacungan Elementary School is one of DOLE-X’s adapted schools for the Child Labor Program, which started last year thru the help of the private sector companies and its partner LGUs in the province, in giving gifts to students.
“Since then the office monitored the students thru the coordination with the Department of Education,” Natividad added.
He also said that the gifts were meant not only to those who were documented as child laborers but also to the children who were at risk of being child laborers.
Ma. Antonette G. Terol, a Grade 6 student and one of the profiled child laborers expressed her gratitude, “Daku kaayo ning tabang sa amo nga regalo para makuhaan ang gasto ni mama ug papa sa pamilya (This gift is a really big help for us and at the same time lessen the expenses of my mother and father in the family).”
Likewise, Ellaine Edio, Public Employment Service Office (PESO) manager of the municipality thanked DOLE-X for the continued assistance. (Dundee Daing/DOLE-X EMO PFO)