The Department of Labor and Employment, Regional Office XI, recognizes the important role of an existing and functional Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) in the effective prevention and response to violence, exploitation, and abuse against children.  In partnership with the Social Services Development Office of the Local Government of Davao City, DOLE XI hosted the strengthening activities conducted among the barangay officials of the city’s first, second and third legislative districts.

DOLE XI Director Joffrey M. Suyao expressed his appreciation to the barangay leaders for their continuous commitment and vigor in the implementation of programs dedicated to the welfare and protection of children in their respective barangays.  “The important  role of the barangay in ensuring the overall development of children cannot be overemphasized.   The DOLE supports the local government in its campaign to ensure that the children of Davao attain their fullest potential as we endeavor to maintain the title as the Most Child-Friendly City,” Suyao said.

Davao City is the 2012 Presidential Awardee for the Most Child Friendly City for highly-urbanized city category.  Davao was  also a recipient of the award for two consecutive years from 1998 to 1999.

Director Suyao took advantage of the BCPC strengthening activities to tap the support of the Barangay Councils in the implementation of the HELP ME Convergence Program of DOLE.

“H.E.L.P. M.E.”,  which stands for health, education, livelihood, and prevention, protection, and prosecution, monitoring and evaluation, is the Aquino III administration’s convergence program on child labor envisioned to contribute to the realization of the country’s  ultimate Millennium Development Goal of eradicating poverty through decent work.

DOLE XI’s commitment for 2013 is to provide livelihood intervention to 108 household beneficiaries in Davao City who are about to transition out of the DSWD’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program and whose children are most likely to engage or revert to child labor.  Priority areas are barangays Bucana, Acacia, Crossing Bayabas, Toril Proper, Matina Pangi (quarry site) and New Carmen (dump site).  After the profiling and validation activities, DOLE XI shall proceed to roll out its livelihood intervention to the identified families.  As a convergence program, HELP ME also seeks to provide other needed basic social services through the commitment of other government agencies and social partners.

“The entire community must be involved in addressing the child labor issue.  The main thrust of BCPC is to promote the welfare and protect the children against violence, exploitation and abuse.  It is in line with what DOLE envisions – a Child Labor-Free Barangay,” Director Suyao added.

The BCPC strengthening initiative was in partnership with the LGU of Davao City thru City Social Services Development Office head Ms. Malou Bermudo and RSW Children’s Concern Division Chief Ms. Grace Frias. The activities were conducted on July 16 (District 1), July 19 (District 2) and July 26 (District 3)