Signed. Stakeholders signing their commitment to support the HELP Me Convergence Program to Address Child Labor in Davao Region.

Davao City – Anti-child labor advocates together with profiled child laborers gather this city for the 2nd Regional Anti-Child Labor Summit and Children’s Festival. The forty eight (48) minors aged 10 to 17 years old from Davao City and the provinces of Davao Region were billeted for two days at the World Palace Hotel, Ecoland this city last November 18 & 19, 2019.

Highlights on the first day of the summit include empowering the children through workshops conducted by Kaugmaon (NGO), DOLE XI Anti-Child Labor Focals and Community Facilitators, and Creative Presentation of Output and Group Manifesto by the participants. Day 1 ended with a Solidarity Night and Children’s Festival.

The second day started with testimonials from selected minors. Behind a curtain, holding the microphone and teary-eyed, they shared the same hardships experienced in working to help support their families. “Dahil po sa kahirapan, nahinto po ako sa pag-aaral upang tulongan ang aking parents na magkapera para ipambili nang bigas at ulam namin. Nakakapagod po talaga dahil minsan, magtatrabaho po ako nang lampas eight hours.”, said Alliyah, a child laborer.

In his message, DOLE XI ARD Jason P. Balais said, “We all know that President Duterte recently issued an Executive Order No. 92 that institutionalized the anti-child labor program through efforts of various agencies of the government. One of the aims of our President is to end poverty. That is why we have to bring this order down so that we can find solution to poverty because we all know that it is the cause of child labor and other problems. So we are addressing the issue of poverty through the various programs of the national government agencies and our partners in the local government.”

Responding to the cry of the child laborers, all stakeholders present, responded by presenting their programs and commitment to support the implementation of the DOLE-initiated “HELP ME Convergence Program to Address Child Labor in Davao Region”.

Stakeholders present during the summit were from the Davao City LGU, DSWD, DA, DEPED, DOH, DILG, TESDA, CSSDO, NCIP, PSWDOs (Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, ComVal Province, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental), DOJ XI, PNP XI, PIA, Kaugmaon, and the Child Fund Philippines. The activity was conducted by DOLE XI Regional Focal on Anti-Child Labor Melanie R. Jadulang and team. (By Eduardo P. Monreal, LCO-Designate, TSSD, DOLE RO XI)