Agusan del Sur – They say that chronic poverty fuels child labor in the Philippines but not anymore. The Department of Labor and Employment came up with an idea to elevate the economic status of families for them to send their children to school instead of working in a hazardous environment.

Profiled Parents of Child Laborers in four LGU’s of Agusan del Sur namely: LGU-Veruela, LGU-Esperanza, LGU-San Luis, LGU-San Francisco received 3,640,000.00 worth of starter kits for their Hog Raising Project. A series of turn-over activities was facilitated by Mr. Maximo Magallen, Senior LEO of DOLE-Agusan del Sur Provincial Office and Ms. Jessielinda Plandano, LEO III/Supply Officer Designate of DOLE-Regional Office. The release took over on March 28, 2019, at LGU-Veruela Municipal Gymnasium, March 29, 2019, at LGU-Esperanza Municipal Agriculture Center, April 1, 2019, at LGU-San Francisco Poblacion and April 4, 2019, at LGU-San Luis, Doña Maxima Municipal Gymnasium.

“Kung may itinanim may aanihin,” said Mayor Mondejar of LGU Veruela. He also said in his inspirational message that “not all were fortunate to have this livelihood project. With the help of DOLE CARAGA top management and their team to realize this project and most especially to our DOLE GIP enumerator for their effort to profile the beneficiaries in remote areas, we were able to finish the list of beneficiaries in a timely manner. My humble request is very simple, please take good care of those piglets follow the feeding program religiously so that you can maximize the profit. This is a teamwork effort so every  member of the family should also be involved in taking care of the piglets.

“There are lots of opportunities to offer from different government agencies not just the Department of Labor and Employment. Through the active coordination and initiative of Public Employment Service Office (PESO) all possible assistance in terms of income augmentation and poverty reduction are easy to deliver to our direct beneficiaries” said PESO Manager, Pauline D. Jaramillo of LGU Esperanza.

One of the beneficiaries who were interviewed expressed her heartfelt appreciation. “I am thankful because I received 4 piglets with 4 months supply of feeds. I did not expect to receive such a blessing. This is a big help for our family especially in sending my kids to school. Together we will take good care of this livelihood so that we can earn a good profit. Our children will not work on the farm anymore and they will be safe from hard labor.”

The DOLE Kabuhayan Starter KITS Project will enable the target beneficiaries to start quickly a livelihood undertaking and become self-employed. It aims to engage them in sustainable self-employment through easy to learn livelihood undertakings.

Fercie B. Solatorio