The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office 12 turned over to the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tacurong City a check worth P748, 436.00 as livelihood assistance intended for 106 parents whose children are either engaged in child labor or at risk of child labor.

DOLE 12 Regional Director Ofelia Domingo handed over the check to City Mayor Lina Montilla at the DOLE 12 Regional Office on February 17, 2015.

Among those who witnessed the turnover ceremony included DOLE 12 Technical Services and Support Division (TSSD) Officer In Charge Ruby Carrasco, DOLE Sultan Kudarat Field Officer Edwin Morales, DOLE 12 Livelihood Focal Person Grace Pauya, DOLE SK Livelihood Focal Person Mikki Cajandigm LGU Tacurong City Accountant Elma Bides and City Treasury staff Wilfredo Asuzena and LGU PESO Manager Allan Freno.

The beneficiaries of the assistance came from five barangays who, last year, made a commitment to eliminate child labor in their respective areas. Through the help of the barangay officials, the beneficiaries were selected from the barangays of Poblacion, San Pablo, New Isabela, EJC Montilla, and Griño.

Said families will avail of the assistance the amount of which will depend on their individual business proposals. Some of the enterprises proposed by the beneficiaries and approved by the DOLE were dressmaking, carpentry, welding, rice trading, vulcanizing, food processing, and vending.

The livelihood assistance fall under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment (DILEEP) Program, which aims to provide beneficiaries with tools and jigs needed to start their livelihood or augment their existing source of income.

Director Domingo said that the livelihood assistance given to the beneficiary families is DOLE’s way of holding true to its commitment of helping the communities in their goal of eliminating child labor.

In June 2014, DOLE entered into a Memorandum of Understanding together with LGU Tacurong City, City Schools Division, Philippine National Police and the above-mentioned barangays with the primary aim of converging the agencies’ efforts in curbing and eventually eliminating child labor.

Through the livelihood project, the beneficiaries can start their own business or augment the income of their existing economic enterprises. With sufficient income, the parents cannot anymore compel their children to work. Instead of engaging themselves in child labor, the children can devote their time in school.

The provision of this livelihood project is a huge boost to the status of the informal sectors in Tacurong City. The project will surely help the target beneficiaries become self-sufficient. This does not only positively impact the individual lives of the beneficiaries but also the members of their families.

Mayor Montilla said that the continued partnership of the DOLE and the LGU in mainstreaming the members of the informal sector to the economy will surely create a favorable ripple effect.

“By giving attention to the informal sector, the public shall cease to see them as marginalized members of society but rather a contributor to economic development”, Montilla said. (LGU Tacurong City Information)