DOLE wants more child laborers going to school

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is looking forward to seeing more child laborers in Capiz going to school by providing their parents with livelihood support to augment their income.

DOLE Capiz Field Office head Amalia Judicpa said that early this month they released PHP727,300 worth of various livelihood projects to Punta Cogon Parents of Child Laborers Association in Barangay Punta Cogon in Roxas City.

“They are parents of child laborers whose main activity is fishing,” she said.

Thirty parents of child laborers were profiled for the provision of livelihood projects funded under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program budget last year but the check was only released this year.

The support included 19 motorized bancas for 19 beneficiaries, 60 sacks of rice for six beneficiaries of rice retailing projects, assorted groceries for three beneficiaries of sari-sari store, and bundles of fishing gears for two beneficiaries.

Judicpa said those projects were chosen by the parents during the conduct of project identification last year.

She added that while Barangay Punta Cogon was identified to have a high incidence of child laborers, they could not assure if the next recipients of projects intended for the sector would still come from the same barangay.

However, if they found out during the evaluation that the projects are successful and sustainable, then DOLE might expand the membership of their association for possible additional livelihood assistance.

“We are hopeful that they can continue sending their children to school because that is our aim — to provide livelihood assistance to give them income augmentation. When their income increases, then they can already remove their children from being child laborers and send them to school,” she said.

The provision of livelihood support is a continuing program of DOLE. At least 10 percent of the recipients of their livelihood assistance are parents of child laborers.

This year, they have already extended livelihood assistance to almost 100 parents of child laborers, which is equivalent to 208 percent of their target beneficiaries from the said group.

The turnover of assistance was witnessed by DOLE Western Visayas Director Sixto Rodriguez, Jr. and council members of Barangay Punta Cogon. (PNA)