THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), through an integrated livelihood program, has turned over P1.9 million worth of livelihood projects to 207 beneficiaries in Negros Occidental.
The projects include rice trading, basic commodities store, fish cage, and bakery, among others.
Of the beneficiaries, 72 are parents of child laborers under the Christian Advocates for Justice and Development-Negros Inc., which is an accredited co-partner of the agency.
The turnover rites formed part of the "Walk for a Cause for Child Laborers in Negros Occidental," the agency's labor day activity in Bacolod City on Tuesday, May 1.
About 2,500 people joined the walk from Provincial Capitol Lagoon going to the New Government Center.
The participants included employees of various government agencies, police personnel, students, and representatives of the partner groups.
Mary Agnes Capigon, officer-in-charge provincial director of Dole-Negros Occidental, said the activity is aimed at raising awareness that each one of everyone has the responsibility to stop child labor.
Capigon said the P50 registration fee will be used to buy school supplies for 100 child laborers to be distributed during the World Day Against Child Labor on June 12.
"However, with the higher turnout of walk participants, up to 300 recipients could be reached," she added.
During the program, the agency launched the "Project Angel Tree" to recognize sponsors who helped provide education to child laborers.
Also, Dole-Negros Occidental and its partner non-government organizations signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the profiling and consolidation of child labor data in the province.
The partnership was initiated by the Dole, which leads the network of mutually enabling social partners under the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL).
The agency also chairs the National Child Labor Committee through its banner program the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP).
The Dole, through these programs, mainly works on prevention and progressive elimination of child labor through protection, withdrawal, healing, and reintegration of child workers into a caring society.
Under the agreement, the labor department will be responsible for consolidating data from its social partners on the progress towards achieving the Philippine Development Plan Target, which shall be submitted annually to the National Economic and Development Authority. (Erwin P. Nicavera/With PNA)