Over the years, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI has always been in the frontline in delivering programs and services that primarily target to rescue children from worst forms of labor. The Office, through its Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP), has consistently participated in various crusades in line with the national goal of eliminating one (1) million child laborers in the Philippines by 2025.
As a matter of fact, for this year’s National Children’s Month, DOLE XI initiated an event called “Funday Serbisyo Caravan” that intended to hold awareness-raising activities on children’s rights and the protection of their mental health, in line with this year’s theme “Kalusugan, Kaisipan, at Kapakanan ng Bawat Bata Ating Tutukan.”
DOLE XI, together with the Regional Council Against Child Labor (RCACL) XI, brought free services such as dental check-up, medical consultations, registration for the National ID System, and gift items to children and parents alike. There were learning sessions as well on children’s rights and child labor facts with resource speakers from DOLE XI CLPEP and Public Employment Services Office (PESO). In addition, the caravan presented programs and services that may be availed by the children and parents of profiled child laborers such as scholarship and skills training by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and profiling for the Alternative Learning System-Education and Skills Training (ALS-EST) by the Department of Education (DepEd).
The “Funday Serbisyo Caravan” started on November 21, 2022 until the end of November in Davao City and the five (5) provinces of Davao Region, spearheaded by DOLE XI Provincial Heads, CLPEP Regional Focal Person Eduardo P. Monreal, Community Facilitator Bernadine Xophia Bouffard, and Field Office CLPEP personnel. The Office recorded an overall total of 824 participants to the series of caravan in Davao City, Malita, Davao Occidental, Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental, Digos City, Davao del Sur, and Nabunturan, Davao de Oro. The final leg of the caravan will be on November 29, 2022 in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
“Let us continue to work together to demand changes that are essential to the general well-being of our children. While DOLE XI is pursuing to eliminate child labor in our region, we also set our sights on protecting the rights of our children and on helping their parents start anew through our livelihood programs,” said Regional Director Atty. Randolf C. Pensoy. He also emphasized that DOLE XI, as the chair of the RCACL XI, is closely working with its partner agencies to ensure coherent and productive delivery of programs and service to address the long-standing issue on child labor.
In terms of providing assistance to the parents of child laborers, DOLE XI has already exceeded its target by 150% wherein 335 parent-beneficiaries throughout the region were given livelihood assistance under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).
As a result of these undertakings and partnerships, DOLE XI ranked first among 16 regional offices as to the percentage. of children withdrawn from child labor from 2018-2022 with 14,677 or 58.55% of the total number, as of September 2022. The data were determined through profiling of child laborers and provision of services to remove them from labor.
This is DOLE’s contribution to the Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022, in which the country committed to reducing 30% (or 630,000) of the 2.1 million child labor cases and accomplishing the “Isang Milyong Batang Malaya” campaign by 2025.