Kid’s Joy. The children enjoy the games facilitated by the organizers.

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE XI) and the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte through its HELP ME Convergence Program with other government agencies and private companies brought free services to more than 100 profiled working children whose age ranges from 4 to 17 years and their parents of Barangay Magugpo West.

In a data presented by Labor and Employment Officer III Lalaine M. Apugan, these children are mostly vendors of fruits, vegetables, plastic bags, toys, lighters, fried chicken, butane, spices, snacks, CDs/DVDs, and Kakanin. Some are house helpers and labandera, poultry caretakers, construction workers, storekeepers.

Free services and Freebies. The children receive school supplies, food, medical and dental services.

Said activity is in line with the celebration of World Day Against Child Labor with a global theme, “Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!”, held on June 18, 2019 at RDR Gym Sports Complex in Tagum City.

Among the services rendered were medical and dental check-up with medicines by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP XI) Philippine College of Occupational Medicine (PCOM) and Davao del Norte Provincial Health Office; hygiene kits and vitamins good for family use by the Department of Health XI (DOH) and Department of Social Welfare & Development XI (DSWD); Department of Agriculture XI (DA) provided assorted vegetable seeds; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority XI (TESDA) rendered free beauty care services; Davao City Social Services and Development Office donated backpacks and school supplies; Department of the Interior and Local Government XI (DILG) and Department of Justice- Regional Police Office XI (DOJ-RPO XI) donated for the prizes; Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO) Davao del Sur & Davao del Norte provided food packs; the Philippine National Police-Police Regional Office (PNP-PRO XI) entertained the participants with their mascots and live band; the Association of Concerned Employees of DOLE (ACEs-DOLE) also donated bathing essentials; and the individual members of HELP ME Convergence generously donated slippers to every children.

Parents, too. Happy faces of parents enjoying free massage, pedicure, manicure, medical and dental checkup.

Success! Stakeholders pose for a groupie at the end of the activity.

Private companies and organizations like Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (TADECO, Inc.) donated backpacks with school supplies; Occupational Safety & Health Network -XI, Inc. (OSHNET-XI) gave additional hygiene kits and school supplies; Federation of Family Welfare Stakeholders (FFWS) XI donated household items for raffle prizes; the KAUGMAON steered the games with prizes; Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, Inc. supplied beverages; ChildFund Philippines provided food packs to every family of working child.

In his message, DOLE XI Assistant Regional Director Jason P. Balais said that as long as poverty is present in the society, child labor cannot be ended but with the positive economic impacts brought by the present administration, he is hopeful that this will end soon.

Atty. Balais also encouraged the parents not to put their children in harm by asking them to work.

This annual activity is a continuous effort of the Department with other partner agencies in raising awareness and showing country’s unity in the worldwide campaign against child labor. (DOLE-XI DNFO /Dyanarha P. Lavadia)