Malapatan, Sarangani – Brimming with happiness, at least 150 victims of child labor in Barangay Malkahi, this municipality, received early Christmas gifts from the DOLE XII Sarangani Field Office in the form of school supplies, basic necessities and food items.
Profiled last June 12, 2016 during the celebration of World Day Against Child Labor, the affected children were called “batang kabayo” working as carriers of charcoal and woven bamboo sheets (kalakat) walking five to six hours just to earn a few pesos.
DOLE XII Sarangani Field Office Head Alma P. Borela said that the children are now at risk to be child laborers and must be helped.
“We hope to give assistance to the children of Malkahi through our DOLE livelihood program, and we also hope that with the gifts we gave them they will be encouraged to stay in school for a brighter future,” Borela said.
Partners who supported the gift giving activity include the Provincial Government of Sarangani, local government unit of Malapatan, PESO-Malapatan, DEPED, Barangay Poblacion BLGU and from the private sector.
Project Angel Tree, a component of the DOLE Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program, provides an array of social services that range from food, clothing, educational assistance or school supplies, and even work and training opportunities made available by sponsors or benefactors (‘angels’) to child laborers and their families. It aims to improve the economic and social conditions of child laborers and their families and increase the number of allies and advocates of child labor prevention and elimination.