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199 farmers, parents of child-laborers get P2.1M aid from DOLE

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental (PIA) -- A total of 199 farmers and parents of profiled child laborers in Negros Oriental received livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) amounting to P2.1 million. 

The recipients are members of the Linao PalayCheck Farmers Association and the Tambulan-Tambo Farmers Irrigators Association from Tayasan town and 18 parents of child laborers from neighboring towns. 

The Linao PalayCheck Farmers Association received a four-wheel drive mini farm tractor worth P993,224 to augment the farming activities of its 126 members, while the Tambulan-Tambo Farmers Irrigators Association received floating tillers, rice threshers, and power sprays worth P577,500 for its 55 members.

DOLE information officer Raiza Rubia said 18 parents of profiled child laborers in Tayasan received their individual livelihood starter kits worth P30,000 each.

For those with sari-sari stores, the beneficiaries received sacks of rice, mechanical table scales, and plastic bags amounting to P540,000 for their Bigasan ng Bayan business, said Rubia.

DOLE also provided the beneficiaries with group personal accident insurance for one year through the Government Service Insurance System.

The turnover of livelihood assistance to parents of child laborers is the government’s strategic response to prevent and eliminate child labor. 

Augment the family income

Joy Rabuya, 39, from Barangay Linao, Tayasan, has two children who help their father work in a sugar plantation. 

A member of the Linao PalayCheck Farmers Association, Joy thanked DOLE as her family also received livelihood assistance in the form of five piglets for their backyard piggery. 

“Dako na ni kaayong ikatabang namo labi kay nageskwela na akong mga anak, pangbayad sa skwelahan kay may college na mi ug Grade 7,” said Joy. 

(This is a big help for us especially since my children are still studying. This will help pay for the school expenses of our college student and Grade 7 student.) 

Another parent of child laborers, Daisy Rose Dianon, 48, of Barangay Martilo, La Libertad town, received grocery items worth P15,000 for her sari-sari store.

Daisy said her husband’s income as a tricycle driver is not enough to sustain their family’s needs with four children who are now in school.

After school hours, her children would help in selling chicken barbecue from 4:00 pm to 8:00 p.m. in their barangay. 

“Busa dako nako kalipay naay ikapuno-puno sa akong tindahan na makatabang sab sa adlaw-adlaw’ng pamelete ug balon kanila,” she said. 

(I am so glad because the assistance will help augment my store’s stocks and also help in my children’s daily fare and lunch provisions.) 

DOLE Negros Oriental and Siquijor provincial offices officer-in-charge Vivencio Lagahid is optimistic that the livelihood projects will help augment the income of the beneficiaries.   

“We have high hopes that these projects would provide additional income to the associations and individual beneficiaries. They will also help create employment, and provide sustainable jobs eventually,” Lagahid said. 

Republic Act 9231 prohibits child labor, referring to any work performed by a child under 18 years old, that subjects him/her to any form of exploitation or is harmful to his/her health and safety or physical, mental or psychological development, depriving the children of their childhood, potential and their dignity.

Children aged 15 to below 18 years old have a maximum of eight hours a day or 40 hours a week to work, but should not work from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m, while children below 15 can only work for a maximum of four hours a day or 20 hours a week. 

According to the 2022 Working Children Situation report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the total number of working children who are engaged in child labor in the Philippines was pegged at 828,000 in 2022. 

Region 12 posted the largest share to the total number of working children with 12.8 percent, followed by Region 4-A with 11.1 percent, and Region 7 with 10.5 percent share. (JCT/PIA7 Negros Oriental)

Parents of child laborers in Negros Oriental pose with the livelihood assistance they received from the Department of Labor and Employment composed of mechanical table weighing scales to be used for their ‘Bigasan ng Bayan’ business. (PIA Negros Oriental/DOLE photo)

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Jennifer Tilos


Region 7

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