Project Angel Tree brings hope to IP child laborers

Iloilo Field Office Head Melisa S. Navarra delivers an inspirational message and explains the Child labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP).

Hope filled the hearts of 49 profiled child laborers from the Ati Community of Brgy. Nagpana in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo after they received basic necessities during the conduct of the Project Angel Tree Outreach Program.

In celebration of the Children’s Month, the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office No. 6 through its Iloilo Field Office (DOLE RO6-IFO) conducted the activity that benefitted child laborers from the indigenous people’s (IPs) group.

Ranging from 9-17 years old, the child laborers used to engage in forestry, logging and farming activities making them vulnerable to harmful heat of the sun and the sudden change in weather conditions.

“We are reaching out to the most vulnerable sector of our society. The IPs, particularly the child laborers, should have equal opportunities to government services and programs. Providing livelihood and creating awareness on the child’s rights will keep parents from involving their children to child labor,” said Regional Director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez Jr.

Pre-loved books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs and textbooks gathered through a book drive campaign by the DOLE RO No.6-IFO were distributed to the recipients.

Apart from the reading materials, the children also received hygiene kits composed of toothbrush and toothpaste, alcohol, bar soap, facemask, school supply kit with intermediate paper, notebooks, ball pen, school bag, a 100 pesos prepaid load card, and packs of biscuits and powdered milk.

Joy and excitement glowed in their eyes as they were treated with snacks and prizes while learning on the discussion on the rights of the child.

The holding of Project Angel Tree at the Ati Community is the Regional Office’s humble contribution to help reach the goal to free one million children from child labor.

Prior to the activity the Regional Office led by Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez, Jr. held an     Inter-Agency Meeting with its partner agencies to discuss matters and address issues regarding the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program.

Facilitated by the Iloilo Field Office, the 35 representatives from partner agencies discussed their contributions, various social services that can be offered and their commitment for the profiled children in the City and Province of Iloilo.