The Davao Department of Labor and Employment –Association of Concerned Employees and Staff (DOLE –ACES) recently served as “Angels” to 100 students in Barangay Ilang in Bunawan, Davao City.

Since it is the back to school season, DOLE-ACES with the assistance of Kaugmaon Center for Children’s Concerns Foundation, Inc. turned over backpacks and school supplies to the beneficiaries in the said area last May 27, 2016. Snacks were also served during the short program.

Project Angel Tree is an activity under the DOLE’s Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program which aims to build a community of sponsors or benefactors referred to as “angels” who are committed and supportive in providing social services such as food, clothing, educational assistance, and even work and training opportunities to children at risk to become child laborers and their families.

The program is a continuing effort of the department to prevent these vulnerable children who due to their economic situation and environment in becoming child laborers.

“Alang sa grupo sa mga ginikanan sa kabataan ug sa Kaugmaon, lugod kami na nagapasalamat sa among nadawat na tabang kana kay dako kaayo nga tabang sa among mga bata. Nag-hinaot mi nga dili unta mo mapul-an nga mutabang namo nga mga kabos (In behalf of the parents, the children and Kaugmaon, we are very thankful with the help that we have received because this is a great help to our children. We hope that you (DOLE) would not grow tired of helping the poor),” Nenita Justol, one of the parent leaders, said.

Victor Sicam, representative of the DOLE-ACES in his message emphasized the importance of education especially in finding a better job in the future.

“Nindot na makakita ta ug kwarta na bata pa ta pero ang gina huna-huna sa gobyerno kay ang mga bata dapat naga-eskwela kay kani ang pag-eskwela lumalabay lang ni pero ang pagtrabaho naa rajud na permi (It is good to earn money while we are still young but the government thinks that the children should be going to school because education is just a passing phase but working is always be there),” Sicam said.

 “Sugod pa lang ni sa atong mga ihatag na hinabang sa atong ginikanan pwede pa pud mag-mugna ang kapunungan kay kami sa Department of Labor wala mi ni-undang ug pag-hunahuna ug mga programa para ma-employ ang atong mga ginikanan atong mga trabahante. Hinaot unta na mao ni ang sinugdanan sa atong partnership (This is just the start of the help that we will be giving to the parents as the association can still come up with other activities because we in the Department of Labor will not stop in thinking of programs for the employment of our parents and workers. We hope that this will be the beginning of our partnership.),” he added.

The gift giving of DOLE-ACES was from the fun run event that they organized last December 2015 wherein some of the proceeds were dedicated for the benefit of the children at risk.

Kriztja Marae G. Labrador/LCO-DOLEX