CEBU CITY, Cebu, Nov. 29 (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment Region 7 (DOLE-7) released over P4.6M in livelihood assistance to the parents of profiled child laborers in Barili, according to DOLE-7 Labor Information Officer III Luchel Senarlo-Taniza.
Taniza said around 153 parents of child laborers from the different barangays of Barili benefited from the livelihood program of DOLE.
Each received not less than P29,000 for their respective Livelihood Started Kits (LSKs).
The said beneficiaries that came from the barangays of Candugay, Cagay, San Rafael, and Azucena will engage in goat raising, cattle fattening, general merchandising, candle vending, buy and sell of frozen food products, and hanging rice livelihood project.
“For four days, we distributed the livelihood starter kits to the beneficiaries, since we have to go to several different barangays and strictly observing the safety and health protocols,” said Cebu Provincial Field Office (CPFO) Officer-in-Charge Vivencio Lagahid.
One of the beneficiaries from Brgy. Cagay, Crescencia Abapo, was happy upon receiving a cow for her cattle fattening project.
“Nag-guyod na gyud si Crescensia ug baka padung sa ilaha. Tinuod gyud diay ning livelihood program sa DOLE (Crescencia will be bringing a cow home. This livelihood program of DOLE is for real),” said one spectator during the turnover ceremony of the livelihood assistance.
Another beneficiary, Maria Rhodora Pasaporte from Brgy. Maghanoy, was grateful to the department for the assistance she received, saying, “Taliwala niining pandemya, ang DOLE nakatabang gayud sa akong pamilya (Even amid the pandemic, DOLE was able to help my family)."
She will be focusing on her candle vending business soon.
Another beneficiary, Cecilia Tao from Brgy. Candugay who is a farmer and has an existing sari-sari store, said: “Apan ang kalisud sa panginabuhian ug ang kagamay sa among kita sa pagpaninda maoy naka-aghat sa akong anak lalaki nga motrabaho (Our low income has pushed my son to work)."
Tao’s son was identified as one of the child laborers in their area.
Tao added that her son used to gather firewood in the forest and sell it for his allowance and other school needs.
“Daku kaayo ning grasya alang namu nga nakadawat mi ug ayuda gikan sa gobyerno pinaagi sa DOLE niining panahon sa pandemya. Daghang kaayong salamat (This assistance from the government through DOLE is a big blessing to us in this time of pandemic. Thank you very much)," she continued.
Tao will be venturing into the business of general merchandising.
Barili Mayor Julieto Flores addressed the beneficiaries, telling them that the livelihood projects that were given to them by DOLE is a “once in a lifetime experience,” since there is no need for them to shoulder the capital of their businesses.
All they have to do is to provide a counterpart such as a small area for their projects only.
“The government is concerned on the proper handling of your respective livelihood undertakings. We hope that you are going to do your best to make them sustainable so that your children will not have to go back to child labor again,” Flores said.
Under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), parents and/or guardians of profiled child laborers are qualified to avail the department’s livelihood program.
It aims to help withdraw the identified child laborers from child labor by way of providing their families alternative livelihood projects.
For the livelihood assistance extended to said beneficiaries, DOLE shelled out a total of P4,599,080, said Taniza. (JSME/PIA7 with reports from DOLE-7)