LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 17 (PNA) —- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has released early this month half-a-million-pesos worth of livelihood grant to 59 families living in a mining site in Camarines Norte.
The grant, which is in the form of equipment, raw materials and small hand tools under the “DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kits” (DKSK) program has amounted to Php 566,714, according to Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, DOLE-Bicol director (officer-in-charge).
She said the program aims to provide an alternative livelihood to the informal sector workers in the province, many of whom rely on income through construction of open-pit mining holes in areas not far from their dwellings.
Trayvilla, in a news release today, said beneficiaries of the DKSK program get to have access to a “more defined income” through enterprises that are “self-earning.”
She said DKSK provides both skills training and the necessary tools so its beneficiaries can quickly start livelihood activities and become self-employed.
Trayvilla said the livelihood starter kits have tools that would be beneficial in areas such as massage, plumbing, cosmetology, electrical servicing, welding, native snack preparation, car wash, repair of motorcycles, cellular phones, appliances and upholstery.
She said under DKSK, the beneficiaries can render services to other members of the immediate community either as “home-based" or “on-call” workers.
Trayvila echoed the hopes of DOLE-Bicol that with the latest livelihood grant, the 59 families living in mining sites in the province could be prevented from making their children engage in child labor.
“This has been a yearly activity here to intensify our anti-child labor program in the province (Camarines Norte),” she said.
Travilla said child labor continues to exist in the province, especially in the mining sites.
“We will not stop until we liberate the last child laborer here,” she said.
Over the past years, DOLE Bicol’s livelihood program has been helping stamp out child labor in the municipality of Paracale, the mining capital of Camarines Norte.
Without any skills for more decent jobs, the target beneficiaries of DOLE’s program have been resorting to working in mining pits as laborers, locally called “Parasurok.” This entails engaging their children to work alongside them in manually dug out underground tunnels that gravely put to risk their health and safety.
Travilla said DOLE has been addressing this problem by promoting business and entrepreneurship for the identified parents of the child laborers.
She said by introducing a self-sustaining and decent livelihood, their children would be saved from child labor.
Under DKSK, beneficiaries receive “capability-building trainings,” wherein they learn basic entrepreneurial skills so their businesses could grow profitably given knowhow in the areas of marketing, production, bookkeeping and management.
Travilla said the trainings are facilitated either through the “in-house trainors” of DOLE or through other government institutions.
“As the project operates, DOLE will provide other services or assistance that the beneficiaries need so the project will continue to operate and generate more income for the families,” she said. (PNA) LAP/GINA V. RODRIGUEZ/CBD