Granting the simple wishes of 75 profiled Child laborers in Siargao Island is what the essence of DOLE anniversary for DOLE-SDN. The celebration was highlighted with the Project Angel Tree: Adopt a Batang Malaya Star took place at Pastoral, Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, on December 8, 2019. The spirit of Christmas was indeed reflected on the eyes of these children.

Community Facilitator Cleo Mariel Jane Carael acknowledged the participants from the different Municipalities of Siargao. Ms. Bernadette Porpayas, PESO Manager of Dapa, gave an inspiring message to the participants. An overview of the CLPEP was given by the CLP Focal Person of SDN, Mr. Arnaldo A. Anito.

The granting of wishes of the children is represented by Ms. May C. Velonta, DOLE SDN – OIC Provincial Head; Ms. Bernadette Porpayas, PESO Manager – Dapa, SDN; Madam Felicitas “Lily” Matugas Gonzales;  Mr. Arnaldo A. Anito, CLP Focal Person; Mr. Bernard Requillo of Princess D’ Catering Services; Mr. Rally, HR Manager of Bravo Beach Resort; and Mr. Jovert representative of Xian Travel and Tours.

A heart-melting performance of the children was witnessed as they sang “Thank You, Ang Babait Ninyo” as a sign of gratitude to their Angels who gave them an unforgettable Christmas gifts. Teary eyed, Mirasol Gorillo, mother of the profiled child laborer said, “Salamat karajaw sa ijo, sa ini na programa nan DOLE, salamat karajaw sa ijo gihatag na mga regalo”.

On behalf of the 6 Enumerators of Siargao, Mark Vincent Libay, Enumerator from Dapa gave a quick message about their experiences during the profiling activity. The atmosphere changed into laughter and joy as the children started to showcase their talents in dancing the tune of Batang Malaya song.

Members of Siargao Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (STIPC) was one of the sponsoring groups. Other sponsors included the following:

Javir Grocery (STIPC Member) 2 2,000.00
Aventino’s Pizza (STIPC Member) 5 Christmas Grocery 5 pax
Bravo Beach Resort 5 2,000.00
Princess D’ Enterprises (STIPC Member) 5 Christmas Grocery 5 pax
Kermit Siargao Surf Camp 5 3,000.00
Denaville Resort 10 10,000.00
Siargao Inn (STIPC Member) 5 School Supplies 2 pax
DALAS (STIPC Member) 5 5,000.00
Harana Beach Resort 5 3,000.00
Xian Travel and Tour (STIPC Member) 5     Christmas Grocery  5 pax
DMN Hardware (STIPC Member) 5                     3,000.00
CARRECCO 20 20,000.00

The Department garnered Php 45,000.00 from the benefactors who pledged cash instead of items. The amount was used to purchase Christmas groceries and School Bags and the 75 children received these gifts.

DOLE SDN PO had the most unforgettable celebration of the 86th DOLE Anniversary. The conduct of Project Angel Tree was a medal of accomplishment for the CLPEP Program implementers – CFs, Enumerators and Encoders, and the Program Head – as this event was deemed a success. The joy that emanates from the eyes of these children had become the inspiration of the implementing team and they could only hope these things will last.

May C. Velonta, OIC Provincial Head, gave here closing remarks by emphasizing the true meaning of the event. She also gave highlight on other assistance parents can avail from DOLE.

Project Angel Tree is a program of Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program. The tree that bear fruit represents an array of social services ranging from food, clothing, school supplies and even work opportunities made available by sponsors (angels) to child laborers, children at risk of becoming a child laborer or working children and their families.