Ten child laborers, all children of sugar migratory workers in Aklan, have been enrolled by the DOLE Regional Office No. 6 under the SACADA-Boracay Industry Tripartite Council (BITC) Training Program for Employment, Regional Director Ponciano M. Ligutom yesterday reported to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.
“I am pleased to inform the Secretary that we have identified ten more child laborers who have undergone training on housekeeping and plumbing under our SACADA-BITC training program,” said Ligutom in his report.
“The training was conducted in cooperation with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The trainees in plumbing have already passed TESDA’s assessment last 8 May 2015, while the trainees in housekeeping have their assessment yesterday, 25 May. They will soon be reporting to the Boracay Industry Tripartite Council, which had committed to provide them a long-term decent employment,” Ligutom said.
According to Ligutom, the SACADA-BITC Training Program is contained in a memorandum of agreement that the DOLE, TESDA, and BITC have signed specifically for children of sugar migratory workers to facilitate their employment.
The DOLE shouldered all the training expenses of the ten sugar farm child workers—five girls and five boys—from Madalag, Aklan.
Ligutom said Madalag is where sacadas are recruited and transported to various haciendas in Negros Occidental in the Visayas and Pampanga and Isabela in Luzon. The girls, he said, were enrolled in housekeeping and the five boys are training in plumbing. They are expected to start working this anytime this month.
The success of Ronald Ninofranco, a former child laborer from Madalag, who the DOLE trained in housekeeping, has brought about the crafting of the DOLE-TESDA-BITC skills training project for children of sugar migratory workers for employment.
Mr. Ninofranco is now employed at Boracay Regency Resort and Convention Center and whom Secretary Baldoz lauds as an embodiment of the success of the DOLE’s anti-child labor efforts.