ZAMBOANGA CITY – At least 30 mothers of child laborers in the Zamboanga del Norte town of Roxas received livelihood starter kits and free scholarships on commercial cooking to augment their income, a labor official said Friday.

Lawyer Roy Buenafe, the Department of Labor and Employment–Zamboanga Peninsula (DOLE-11) director, said the grant forms part of DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) that provides beneficiaries with tools for their chosen livelihood projects.

DILP seeks to contribute to poverty reduction and reduce risk vulnerability among low-income individuals either through emergency employment, and promotion of entrepreneurship and community enterprises.

Buenafe said they tapped the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to provide the recipients of the livelihood kits with the needed skills training.

“This gives them a head start on their chosen livelihood projects, which will hopefully augment their family’s income,” Buenafe said in a statement.

He said parents of child laborers fall under DOLE’s priorities in line with the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program.

Buenafe noted the potential dangers of child labor, saying the agency is serious in helping eliminate the illegal practice in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

“We provide livelihood opportunities to parents to help them support their family and remove their children from forced labor,” he said.

Meanwhile, DOLE-9 expressed solidarity with the International Labor Organization in the celebration of World Day Against Child Labor on June 12.

The celebration aims to raise awareness about the situation of child laborers and to show solidarity with the global movement against child labor. (PNA)