BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
Parents and guardians of child laborers in Negros Occidental received P1.798 million in livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment in Western Visayas recently.
The assistance was for 117 families in barangays Mandalagan and Handumanan in Bacolod City, and 35 others in Barangay Guinhalaran, Silay City in the province.
Cyril Ticao, DOLE Region 6 director, said the project aims to end the engagement of children in hazardous work by improving the source of income of their parents and guardians.
The assistance will be used to purchase goods for “sari-sari” stores, such as coffee and chocolate powder drink, packed biscuits and noodles, canned sardines, rice, cooking oil, and eggs, he said.
The fund was released through the Christian Advocates for Justice and Development in Negros Occidental Inc., a non-government organization that advocates against child labor.
Ticao said CAJDeN will also provide the beneficiaries with training on entrepreneurship, accounting, financial management and control, credit management, and self-awareness.
“One of the missions of our organization, along with the provision of educational assistance to children and promotion of the rights of the children, is providing livelihood projects to parents of child laborers in partnership with DOLE,” CAJDeN executive director Ma. Lina Ganaba said.
Mary Agnes Capigon, DOLE-Negros Occidental head, said, “This is one of the successful results of our referrals of profiled child laborers in 2019. Their parents are our target-beneficiaries under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program.”
Capigon also recognized the consistent efforts of CAJDeN in the program, saying that the group is one of their active partners in the campaign against child labor in the province for years now.*