• Family failure can drive 3,700 children to work

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    The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday expressed concern for some 3,700 children that might work anew as child laborers after their families graduate from the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.

    Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said they worry that around 305,000 CCT beneficiaries could result in some 3,700 children forced to work if their families fail to become self-sufficient after the project.

    “DOLE will work hard to honor the commitments it has set for household beneficiaries, who are about to transition out of the government’s CCT program this year, and whose children are most likely to engage or revert to child labor,” the DOLE official said.

    In line with this, Baldoz said they already began their efforts in assisting the graduating CCT household beneficiaries by profiling their families. They will also be provided with livelihood assistance and employment facilitation for wage employment to help them become self-sustaining.

    The DOLE head also noted that a total of P11.9 million were already allocated to help the beneficiaries and their children with Special Program for the Employment of Students for qualified dependents and Training for Work Scholarship Program.

    In addition, DOLE related that the Departments of Agriculture, Health, Tourism (DOT), Interior and Local Government, Education (DepEd), and Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) also gave similar commitment to achieve the goal.

    DA committed the provision of training for farmers on vegetable and other high-value crops; provision of post-harvest facilities; construction of farm-to-market roads, and construction of irrigation system; while the DOH agreed to the sponsorship for PhilHealth membership; provision of medicines, drugs, and vaccines; delivery of health services through RNHeals.

    The DOT said it will create jobs and enterprise opportunities through sustainable, multi-program and community projects in identified tourism areas; while the DILG said it will support in the profiling of the CCT beneficiaries; mainstream interventions in local development plans; and forge memorandum of agreements with the local governments.

    Meanwhile, the DepEd said it will provide the continuing access to free basic education; provision of remedial instructions through the Alternative Learning System; while the DSWD will extend the subsidy to children aged 14-18, who are still in school and continue conduct of family development sessions.

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