Fifty profiled child laborers with their parents and guardians received gifts from the Department of Labor and Employment Surigao del Sur Field Office (DOLE SDSFO) and their sponsors during a Project Angel Tree activity in Telaje Covered Court, Tandag City. The beneficiaries received ten kilos of rice, grocery items, school supplies, school bags, chocolates, and slippers, made possible by 74 benefactors.

The department also provided a letter of guarantee to the parents, assuring them of a slot under the TUPAD or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers — one of DOLE’s social amelioration programs which provide emergency employment for workers in the informal sector.

At the same time, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Caraga (DSWD Caraga), DOLE’s partner agency, also conducted pay-out activity to 30 profiled and referred child laborers of DOLE SDSFO through its Strategic Help Desks for Information, Education, Livelihood and other Developmental Interventions (SHIELD).

The recipients were thankful for the goods received. One of the children expressed her gratitude, sharing her life experience as a child laborer from the young age of 8. According to her, the gifts she received will be of great help to her and her siblings.

The program was graced by the 1st District Congressman-elect of Surigao del Sur Hon. Romeo S. Momo Sr., Tandag City Vice Mayor Hon. Eleanor D. Momo, Police Senior Master Sergeant Alvin Salazar, PNP EOD K9 represented by PSMS Kloyd Estrada, DSWD CARAGA represented by Sectoral Unit Head Ms. Elsa A. Jamora, CSWD Tandag, CWS Partylist, Gaisano Capital Tandag, and other benefactors.

Hon. Romeo S. Momo Sr. and Vice Mayor Hon. Eleanor D. Momo, who consistently showed support to the program, encouraged all attendees to help eradicate child labor which has been a growing global concern. In addition, DOLE Caraga Assistant Regional Director Reymond Fel Sajor, on behalf of Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao, extended his gratitude to the department’s partners in the government and private sectors for their unceasing assistance in the pursuit of removing child exploitation in the province.

The activity was concluded with the participants marking their handprints on the commitment wall, pledging the protection of children’s rights and welfare, and a Batang Malaya community dance.

DOLE SDSFO is grateful for receiving so much support from its stakeholders. The smiles and joy of the children fuel the determination of the department to continue its endeavor of realizing its vision of child labor-free Philippines.