The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI recently conducted the annual planning, evaluation, and orientation to the members of the HELP-ME Convergence Program in the region.

HELP-ME Convergence Program is 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 H – health services and medical assistance; E – education and training; L – livelihood opportunities to parents of child laborers; P – prevention, protection and prosecution; M – monitoring; and E – evaluation.

The activity, held last May 16 to 18, 2017 at Grand Regal Hotel aims to create a plan in line with the 1 Million Batang Malaya Campaign that aims to free about a million children from the worst forms of child labor by 2022.  It also targets to orient new members of the convergence from the different National Government Agencies, Local Government Units and Non-Government Organizations and to reactivate the Sagip Batang Manggagawa Quick Response Team.

DOLE XI Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante during his opening message emphasized that “timing, planning and confidentiality is very important in Sagip Batang Manggagawa.”

“I hope everyone can come up with their own plan and I hope you can come up with a very concrete action plan,” Director Agravante added.

The activity was also graced by DOLE XI Assistant Regional Director Naomi Lyn C. Abellana together with guest speakers DOLE Planning Service Director Adeline T. De Castro, BWSC Young Workers Development Division Chief Maribeth Casin, and DOLE-National Capital Regional Region Employment Promotion/Worker’s Welfare Chief Aurora E. Halcon.

Kriztja Marae G. Labrador/LCO-DOLEXI