(Bheng Roco with DOLE’s start-up package. Contributed photo)
MARIVELES— In the quest of every poor Filipino to survive, some parents are left with no choice but to send their children not to school but to work. Warlita “Bheng” Roco of Barangay San Carlos, 52, is no stranger to the constant struggle of providing the needs of her children. Being a mother of nine, Bheng is not able to support all her children on her own, resulting to one of her children having to work to help put food on the table.
In 2018, DOLE Regional Office III conducted a region-wide profiling of child laborers wherein Bheng’s son was one of the 1,211 child laborers identified in the region. Through DOLE’s livelihood program aimed to generate jobs and alleviate poverty, identified parents of child laborers were given various livelihood assistance.
“Maging isa na ang aming pamilya sa mga nakakatanggap ng pera mula sa programang 4Ps ng pamahalaan, kinailangan pa rin magtrabaho ng aking anak dahil sa lubos na kahirapan. Pero ngayon, dahil sa programang kabuhayan ng DOLE, maaari ng magfocus sa pag-aaral ang aking mga anak,” Bheng remarked while gratefully accepting sari-sari store package from DOLE Kabuhayan Sa Magulang (KASAMA) program.
DOLE Bataan Field Office was joined by Mariveles Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and Barangay Captain Jester Ivan Ricafrente during the awarding of the sari-sari store kabuhayan package. “Kapuri-puri and programang ito ng DOLE sapagkat naniniwala tayo na hindi laging dole-out ang solusyon sa problema kundi ang pagtuturo sa mga tao ng halaga ng pagsisikap para makaahon sa kahirapan,” Ricafrente said.
Along with 20 other parent-beneficiaries in Bataan, Bheng received her livelihood assistance, a sari-sari store package, through direct administration. Other P20,000 worth of livelihood packages given to parent-beneficiaries were in the form of upholstery, fruit stand, street food stall, rice trading and more.
RD Zenaida Angara-Campita reminded all beneficiaries to not take the given livelihood aid for granted. “This may only be worth P20,000 to some, but who knows? I have high hopes that this may be your ticket to a more comfortable life,” RD Angara-Campita added.