The Department of Labor gave assistance to 100 children and their parents in Barangay Magugpo West, Tagum City as part of the HELP Me Convergence Program, which seeks to end child labor in the country.
From data presented by Lalaine M. Apugan, the agency’s labor and employment officer, the children, whose ages range from 4 to 17 years, are mostly vendors of fruits, vegetables, plastic bags, toys, lighters, fried chicken, butane, spices, snacks, CDs/DVDs, and sweets.
Their parents, on the other hand, are mostly working as house helpers, poultry caretakers, construction workers, and storekeepers.
The main targets of the program are barangays and households covered by the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilya Program and areas identified in the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and the updated Philippine Development Plan.
Among the services rendered were medical and dental check-up, medicines, hygiene kits, and vitamins good for family use. The Department of Agriculture XI (DA) also provided assorted vegetable seeds while the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority XI (Tesda) rendered free beauty care services. There were also backpacks, school supplies, and slippers given for every children.
According to DOLE XI assistant regional director Jason P. Balais, as long as poverty is present in the society, child labor cannot be addressed. However, he is hopeful they can realize their goals soon.