March 3, 2024

BANGUED, Abra – Fifty parents and guardians of minors who were profiled as child laborers in this province benefitted from at least P1.5 million worth of livelihood projects under the Integrated Livelihood Program of the Department of Labor and Employment.

Antonio Pinera, one of the grantees of the sari-sari store package, is thankful for the livelihood assistance he recently received from the government.

“We are thankful that we are given this opportunity to grow our sari-sari store business. We already have a small store but we can grow this through the assistance,” said the 82-year-old recipient who is taking care of his grandchildren.

Pineda is among the 18 grantees from the municipality of Luba, a fifth class municipality located at least three hours away from the capital town.

Fifteen beneficiaries from Tubo and 17 from Dolores also received livelihood projects such as sari-sari store packages, and assistance for hog raising, goat-raising and rice retail ventures.

DOLE-Cordillera Assistant Director Emerito Narag said the awarding of livelihood starter packages is one of the steps of the government to provide families and child laborers better sources of income.

“Take care of this assistance given to you. DOLE gave this to help you augment your family income,” he said.

During the program, DOLE-Abra Livelihood Coordinator Grace Bandayrel also challenged the beneficiaries to nurture their businesses so that they can avail of an enhancement program to further improve their livelihood.

“You also help yourself. We are here for support. If you run your livelihood project well, then we can help you enhance this same livelihood,” she said.

Bandayrel added their office can help refer parents and guardians of child laborers to other programs of partner agencies like the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The distribution of livelihood assistance to parents and guardians of child laborers is one of the initiatives of the government to end child labor in the country. In 2021, the Cordillera recorded at least 18,000 cases of child labor.

The program against child labor is also in support to the National Children’s Month this November that aims to promote the rights and welfare of every Filipino child. – Jamie Joie Malingan