By NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
August 29, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY – The Project Angel Tree of the Department of Labor and Employment once again brought gifts to some fifty-five (55) child laborers during the celebration of World Day Against Child Labor on August 16, 2019 at Pongos Hotel, Ormoc City.
DOLE Regional Office VIII partook in the celebration to show support to the fight against child labor together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office VIII, City Government of Ormoc, ECLIPSE Inc. and Philippine Association of Social Workers Inc., with the theme “Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!”.
Present to grace the one-day occasion were Ormoc City Mayor Richard I. Gomez, DSWD Director Maria Angela S. Gapalan, ECLIPSE Inc. Executive Director Jenny Marx Diancin, DOLE-Technical Services and Support Division Chief Cristina T. Longjas and DOLE West Leyte Field Office Head, Mr. Edgar B. Tabuyan.
In her inspirational message, Ms. Longjas, who was representing DOLE RO VIII Director Yahya A. Centi, encouraged all the child laborers to not give up on their dreams especially their education.
“More than giving you these educational supplies, it is our dream to see you finish your studies and become successful in the future. What we want to instill in your minds is that education is important, so please do not give up even when you experience difficult times”, said Longjas.
DSWD Director Gapalan on the other hand thanked all the partner agencies for their usual support to their various initiatives against child labor such as the Strategic Helpdesks for Information, Education, Livelihood and other Developmental Interventions (SHIELD) Project.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank our partner agencies for being so cooperative and supportive because I believe we can really fight child labor if we will just put our acts together,” Director Gapalan said.
Aside from the gift-giving, different topics and information relevant to child labor were presented. Director Diancin of ECLIPSE Inc., presented the overview of the World Day Against Child Labor while Ms. Carmela Pullantes, DSWD Project Development Officer III, gave an orientation on child rights. Child Labor Initiatives of Ormoc City was also shared by Hon. Lalaine A. Marcos, Committee Chair on Social Services.
DOLE RO VIII, through its Project Angel Tree, provided the identified child laborers with school bags filled with pens, notebooks, papers, crayons and other educational supplies. The venue was filled with happy faces as the children received the educational assistance.
Another gift-giving activity will be conducted for the child laborers in Kananga, Leyte and Tacloban City on September 6 and 17, respectively.
Project Angel Tree is a component of the DOLE Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program which provides an array of social services that range from food, clothing, educational assistance or school supplies, and even work and training opportunities made available by sponsors or benefactors (‘angels’) to child laborers and their families. It aims to improve the economic and social conditions of child laborers and their families and increase the number of allies and advocates of child labor prevention and elimination.