Press Releases
69 parents of child laborers and 50 solo parents in Bulacan receive DOLE livelihood aid


City of Malolos, BULACAN, June 16, 2021 - The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office No. III through its Bulacan Field Office distributed various livelihood packages to a total of 119 beneficiaries on June 11, 2021.

In an interview, DOLE Bulacan Head May Lynn Gozun said that the recipients of the livelihood assistance were either parents of child laborers or solo parents. “Through our partnership with the Bulacan Provincial Youth, Sports and Public Employment Service Office (PYSPESO), we are able to reach 50 solo parents and another 69 parents of child laborers in observance of the World Day against Child Labor,” Gozun mentioned. “Being one of the priorities of our livelihood program, the grant of livelihood assistance to these parents is to accelerate progress of the Sustainable Development Goals and ultimately, save these child laborers from the worst forms of employment,” she added.

Rosario Cabigao, 43 years old, was one of the beneficiaries of the said program. “Dahil na rin sa hirap, ang anak ko po na kinse anyos ay nagtrabaho kung minsan sa palaisdaan. Siya ay nagtatambak o nakikihuli ng bangus doon,” Rosario narrated. [Because of poverty, my 15 year old son works sometimes in a fishery where he is tasked to till the soil or catch milkfish.] According to Rosario, his son earns around P150 a day and works 3 to 5 times a week. 

In a phone interview with the beneficiary, Rosario said the grocery store starter kit provided by DOLE is thriving days after it was awarded to them. “Wala pang isang linggo simula noong nabigyan kami ng grocery items ay nakapagbenta na kami ng halos P7,000. Napakalaking tulong po nito dahil dito kami kumukuha ng pandagdag sa gastusin sa bahay,” Rosario mentioned. [In less than a week, we already sold almost P7,000 worth of items. This is a great help since what we earn adds up and used to pay our daily expenses.] 

Meanwhile, Regional Director Geraldine Panlilio hopes that in a simultaneous celebration of the World Day Against Child Labor and the 123rd Philippine Independence Day, children may also be free of any labor or hazardous work. “Ang pagbibigay po natin ng livelihood grants sa araw na ito ay upang makapagsimula ang mga parents ng child laborers ng kanilang negosyo at tuloy-tuloy na umunlad ang kanilang buhay para na rin sa ikauunlad ng kanilang mga anak— maging malaya sila sa tinatawag nating child labor, at maging tunay na bata na inaalagaan, nakakapag-aral, minamahal, at binibigyan ng karampatang atensyon ng magulang,” RD Panlilio said in her message during the awarding ceremony. [Our livelihood program aims to provide these parents a way to start a business and in the long run, be their means to improve their standard of living and then the lives of their children— children who are free of the so-called child labor, and children who are cared for, provided with education, filled with love, and given the needed attention from their parents.] 

Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando, in another video-recorded message, mentioned that the pandemic did not hinder the continuous service for Bulakenos. “Sa pamamagitan ng panimulang kabuhayan na ito, layunin nating mapigilan ang paglaganap ng child labor sa ating lalawigan at hikayatin ang mga magulang na higit na pagtuunan ng pansin at bigyang prayoridad syempre ang edukasyon ng kanilang anak,” Fernando furthered. [With the provided livelihood, we aim to put a stop to the prevalence of child labor in our province and encourage parents to utmost prioritize the education of their children.] 

The World Day Against Child Labor is an annual event celebrated worldwide every 12th of June to raise awareness about child labor. This year, the global theme is "Act now to end child labour!", while the Philippines' local theme is "Makibahagi, Makialam, at Magkaisa para sa #BatangMalaya". 

As of May 2021, DOLE Bulacan Field Office alone was able to identify and profile at least 1,000 child laborers in the province. All of which were referred to different government agencies for proper assistance.  

END/ A. Cunanan with DOLE Bulacan

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