In line with the celebration of this year’s World Day Against Child Labor, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI together with its HELP-ME Convergence partners have recently conducted their second HELP ME Convergence Serbisyo Caravan.

This year, the service caravan was held for the benefit of child laborers, children at risk to become child laborers and their parents in Barangay New Carmen in Davao City last June 14, 2018. Child labor has been found to be prevalent in the area especially in the dumpsite area.

HELP ME convergence program was created pursuant to Republic Act No. 9231 (An Act Providing For The Elimination Of The Worst Forms Of Child Labor And Affording Stronger Protection For The Working Child, Amending For This Purpose Republic Act No. 7610, As Amended, Otherwise Known As The “Special Protection Of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation And Discrimination Act”), Republic Act No. 9208 (“Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003”), and other related laws.

‘HELP ME’ stands for the following: H – for health services and medical assistance; E – for education and training; L – for livelihood opportunities to parents of child laborers; P – for prevention, protection and prosecution; M – for monitoring; and E – for evaluation.

For this year, members of the convergence together with private establishment partners have gathered to deliver one-stop services such as free legal consultation, health check-up, late birth registration processing, scholarship consultation and enrollment (technical-vocational) and free massage, haircut and manicure/pedicure. There was also the distribution of hygiene kits, food packs, food items and school supplies under DOLE XI’s Project Angel Tree Program.

DOLE XI Technical Services and Support Division OIC-Chief Paul V. Cruz, during his opening message in behalf of DOLE XI Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante, thanked the support of Barangay New Carmen headed by its Barangay Captain Jerry T. Ceballos, Davao City Government represented by the Office of Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz and the HELP ME Convergence public and private partners.

Ang Department of Labor and Employment dili mubiya sa inyoha after sa caravan, atong ilatag ang lain-laing pang programa sa DOLE diri sa inyong barangay particularly sa panginabuhian aron puhon among matabangan ang pangita sa mga ginikanan. (The Department of Labor and Employment will not leave you after the caravan as we still aim to deliver the different programs of DOLE in your barangay particularly the livelihood program in order to contribute to the source of income of the parents),” Chief Cruz said.

Members of the convergence other than the DOLE as its head include: Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Economic Development Authority, Council for the Welfare of Children, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Local Government Units and Non-Government Organizations such as Kaugmaon for Children’s Rights and Social Development Inc.

Private establishment partners during the caravan include: Philippine College of Occupational Medicine, Occupational Safety and Health Network, DOLE Stanfilco, Unifrutti Tropical Philippines, Inc., Work Experts & Allied Services, Inc., San Miguel Foods, Inc., Coca-cola FEMSA Phils., Inc., Mister Donut, Davao City Water District and DOLE XI Association of Concerned Employees and Staff.