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Fri, Sep 05, 2014 (Source: ZCFO)
Dubbed as Pascua na Agosto Na Segundo Año, the activity was aimed at easing the lives of working children and their families, to give them sense of empowerment and self-esteem they so badly need, and to wean them away from dependency on their children’s incomes.

Pascua na Agosto gives emphasis on the transformation of the said barangay with high incidence of child workers into a child labor-free community. It is fully supported by the Zamboanga City Family Welfare Committee (ZCFWC), City Social Welfare and Development Office, and the Barangay Council of Tumaga.

The identification of the child workers in Tumaga is a result of the enumeration conducted last March to May of this year when DOLE-contracted personnel went around high risk-barangays to identify parents and children in danger of falling into child work or are already in the trade. On the other hand, the Pascua na Agosto was first held in Lumbangan last year, a feat which earned praises from The Secretary of Labor. Sec. Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz acknowledged the significance of the event and encouraged Region 9 to make it an annual activity.

The program kicked off with the special message from Makaraya U. Adil, Supervising LEO of the DOLE-ZCFO, where he said that the Child Labor Program has been implemented since the 1990’s when Dr. Amaryllis Torres of the University of the Philippines had a special research project intended to determine if there are child workers in the country. This was then followed by funding from the UNICEF and the eventual institutionalization of the Child Labor Program, first in Basilan for Region 9, then followed by Zamboanga City and some municipalities in Zamboanga del Sur and del Norte.

Acting Assistant Director Albert E. Gutib was also present, where he exhorted parents to take an active part in the economy by immersing themselves in livelihood, particularly the twenty (20) parents who were given starter kits.

At least 45 parents with their 25 children attended the program, while parents were awarded starter kits. They are Myrna Belleza, Pamela Indar, Nita Manggaron, Rosemarie Ralatin, Ma Elizabeth Verntura and Arlen Niones (cooking) and Ricky Bayamban Sr. (carpentry set), Ernesto Capengcon(dried fish kit) and Peroja Pilipina( vulcanizing).

There was also a feeding event where the participants and residents of Tumaga partook of arroz caldo.

After the program, beneficiaries and their families received a delightful treat of bags of groceries, school supplies and other goodies courtesy of YL Fishing, Permex Producers and Exporters, Brent Hospital, Universidad de Zamboanga, Universal Canning, Mega Fishing, Sungate, Shop-o-Rama, Gold Star Seafoods, Southway Square, NY Fishing and Zamcelco, all of whom are members of the Family Welfare Program Committee in Zamboanga City.

On hand to witness the occasion were Zenaida Castro and Cristina Mananquil (CSWDO), Barangay Chairperson Jackie Lim and her kagawads Hilda Jalon, Dennis Clemente, Louie Gonzales, Ben Garcia, Samuel Salazar, Angeline Garganza, Randolph Macaso and Edizon Taleon.

Reported by Ms. Josephina A. Crudo, ZCFO

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