Angel Tree project aims to address child labor
CEBU CITY, Philippines — To help address the child labor problem, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7) conducted an Angel Tree activity on Friday.
The activity held at the old Sacred Heart School along Gen. Maxilom Ave., Cebu City, gathered around 30 children together with their parents from different areas in Cebu.
Salome Siaton, DOLE regional director in Central Visayas, said they had been conducting interaction with the parents to increase their awareness of the rights of their children.
Siaton noted that they wanted to focus on children with higher risk of becoming laborers.
The labor department has come up with the Angel Tree project as a component of its child labor prevention and elimination program.
Angel Tree program
Implemented in collaboration with companies and non-government organizations, the Angel Tree program aims to provide social services including food, clothing, educational assistance or school supplies.
The program also offers training and work opportunities by sponsors and benefactors to the child laborers and their families, Siaton said.
She said that DOLE-7 had recently provided financial assistance for a livelihood project for parents.
By improving the economic conditions of the families, their children would be given the opportunity to acquire education, Siaton said.
She added that they had started conducting profiling of child laborers in the region.
Profiling of children
According to Siaton, the profiling of children was a very good tool used by DOLE to determine the kind of assistance to be extended to children and their families.
Last week, DOLE-7 and their social partners also distributed food, toys, bags and school supplies to over 900 profiled labor at-risk children from eight barangays in Mandaue City.
Siaton said that it was the initial step in their advocacy for child labor prevention and elimination.
She noted that 90 percent of the profiled children actually go to school. However, most of them help augment the income of their respective families after their daily classes.
“So, we see this as an entry point for the DOLE to come in and provide intervention,” Siaton said.
She said that providing livelihood assistance to the parents would prevent or eliminate child labor./dbs
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