ORIENTAL MINDORO – On 16 August 2019, DOLE Oriental Mindoro Field Office reached out to the Mangyan community in the town of San Teodoro for the campaign against child labor.  Sixty (60) children whose family’s economic plight puts them at risk of child labor were gathered in Saclag Settlement Farm School together with their parents. They were enlightened on children’s rights and on anti-child labor laws and policies.  The program also helped them to understand the current situation of child labor in the country, both at the national and regional scale.

In an effort to intensify this campaign, DOLE OrMin headed by Engr. Juliana H. Ortega sought convergence with partner agencies such as PNP, DTI and LGU to pull together their respective programs and services for child protection.   During the campaign activity, DOLE employees were joined by PNP-OIC STMPS, PLPT Felix Venancio, Municipal Executive Assistant & Former Councilor Allan Arguelles, San Teodoro PESO Manager, Ms. Rowena Justo, DTI Negosyo Center Representative, Liberty Padilla, and MSWDO Representative, Griselda Duag. Their presence and delivery of advocacy programs signify gesture of support to strengthen collaboration and commitment to fight child labor particularly among indigenous people.

The campaign was also celebrated by DOLE distribution of umbrella, t-shirt and school supplies such as bag, paper, notebook, ruler, crayon, pencil case, pencil, ballpen, eraser and sharpener to the participating children.  Their parents will soon be assessed for DOLE livelihood assistance.

Towards a vision of child labor-free nation, DOLE is committed to strengthen its coordination with partner agencies to ensure provision of appropriate assistance in addressing child labor problem and be at the fore to realize the theme of the World Day Against Child Labor 2019 “Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!”

End/Mari-jo L. Cordova