By Jerry Alcayde
CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has initiated a campaign against child labor among Mangyans thru a massive information campaign in partnership with other government agencies in the province.
Juliana H. Ortega, DOLE-Oriental Mindoro chief, said at least 60 children from a far-flung barangay in San Teodoro, together with their parents, underwent an orientation on children’s rights, anti-child labor laws and policies and capability-building seminar for livelihood support.
Ortega said a Mangyan community pilot school will be established to serve as the labor department’s template in reaching out to Mangyan communities whose economic plight was at risk due to rampant child labor practices instigated by some unscrupulous lowlanders.
The activity was held at the Saclag Settlement Farm School.
DOLE-Oriental Mindoro brought also during the orientation its partner agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) , Philippine National Police (PNP) and the local government of San Teodoro, which shared their respective programs and services for child protection.
Ortega and his staff also distributed tokens such as umbrellas, t-shirts, and assorted school supplies for the participants.
Ortega has thanked the support of DTI Negosyo Center represented by Liberty Padilla, Municipal Executive Assistant Allan Arguelles and other representatives of agencies who signified support to fight child labor among indigenous people.
The DOLE official said their department was committed to ensure provision of appropriate assistance in addressing child labor problem as it seeks to expand to other sectors its campaign in pursuit of their theme, “Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams”.