Iloilo City.  Despite the inclement weather, around 2,106 stakeholders and partners joined the Department of Labor and Employment-Region 6’s “Walk for a Cause” held this morning in support of the government’s thrust in preventing or eliminating child labor in the country.

This is the second year that the Region implemented such activity region-wide which aims to raise funds for the Project Angel Tree, a component of the DOLE Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program which provides an array of social services to child laborers and their families.

In Aklan, 413 students, partners and other stakeholders participated in this year’s “Walk for Cause”; 328 in Antique; 323 in Capiz; 255 in Guimaras; 319 in Iloilo; and, 468 in Negros Occidental.

In his welcome message, DOLE Region 6 Director Cyril L. Ticao thanked all those who joined for their overwhelming support despite the bad weather. He encouraged them to help the government in its advocacy campaign to raise the level of public awareness on child labor and the government’s effort to prevent and eliminate this menace.

The proceeds of this activity will be used to purchase school supplies which will be distributed to the children already withdrawn from or at risk of becoming child laborers to encourage them to remain in school. The would-be beneficiaries will come from identified local government units in the region with high incidence of child labor.

In 2018, a total of 833 child laborers all throughout the region were provided with school supplies under the DOLE’s Project Angel Tree out of the proceeds from the first “Walk for Cause” conducted on June 12, in celebration of the World Day Against Child Labor.

This year’s “Walk for a Cause” culminated with a Covenant signing among partner-national government agencies and non-government organizations on their convergence efforts as well as their commitment to prevent and eliminate child labor in the Region through the provision of the necessary assistance or services to the referred child laborers based on the result of needs assessment conducted.

Around 7,211 child laborers from the six provinces in the region were profiled in 2018. This year, the region targeted to profile 12,285 child laborers.

Based on the 2011 Survey on Children conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, there were 2.1 million children ages 5-17 years old engaged in Child Labor, 97.7 per cent of whom were in hazardous child labor. Western Visayas ranked 5th among the regions with high incidence of child labor.