Press Releases

It was a gloomy day of 13 February 2015, when DOLE IV-A Rescue Team, headed by Regional Director Ma. Zenaida Angara-Campita untied 12 child laborers from the hazardous work in the sugarcane plantations in Balayan, Batangas. These children were turned over to care of DSWD IV-A.

Two years later, on the first of August, DOLE-Batangas Provincial Office organized a visit to these children to check their condition and other sugarcane workers in Balayan, Batangas. The group, headed by DOLE-BPO Provincial Head, Ms. Predelma Tan, was joined by representatives from the local government unit of Balayan (LGU); District Tripartite Council (DTC): AAROB Planters Association, Batangas Sugar Planters Cooperative and Marketing Association (BSPCMA); and Batangas Province Tripartite Industrial Peace Council: LIMCOMA Multipurpose Cooperative, trudged the little trek to Brgy. Sampaga of Balayan. Ms. Mimi Maglente, owner of Maglente Sugarcane Cutting Contractor greeted the guests and introduced some of the parents who were under their supervision.

At present, almost 30 families were residing in the area, who were migratory sugar workers before from Quezon province, and now residents of the municipality of Balayan. When interviewed, most children are now attending school and they ensured that only the parents, commonly the fathers, work in the sugarcane fields.

It was also disclosed during the interview that those who reside at the farthest part of the barangay were lacking the supply of potable water. They usually obtain water in the nearest river; however, when rain pours, water gets murky hence, they collect gallons of water from the nearby community’s artesian well.

The stakeholders present were alarmed and moved by the statements of the parents and thus, with the goods they brought, the meeting had also been a gift-giving activity for the families. Ms. Norilyn Miranda, Officer-in-charge from the Mayor’s office of Balayan, admitted that she was surprised to see the place, and that the local government extends its help through the grocery items they brought for each families. She also emphasized that they are offering assistance and scholarships for these indigents.

BSPCMA Chairman, Mr. Resty Andal also gave sacks of rice, together with AAROB Planters Association. Likewise, LIMCOMA Multipurpose Cooperative headed by its Vice-President, Mr. Abner Aguila, delivered toiletries and sacks of rice as well as part of their assistance to the community.

DOLE-BPO’s Provincial Director Predelma Tan closed the activity by acknowledging the support of the barangay in the child labor-free advocacy and the partners’ overwhelming cooperation in this endeavor.



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