ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 5, 2022 – Profiled child laborers from various barangays in Zamboanga City gained from the medical mission of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 in partnership with the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) on June 17, 2022.

The medical mission was held at the ZCMC benefitting six child laborers.

“The child laborers underwent initial assessment with a pediatrician and psychosocial counseling,” said Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, DOLE 9 Regional Director.

During the check-up, doctors noted initial findings as follows: abnormal growth near the ear and face, speech/hearing impairment, orthopedic and pulmonary conditions.

“We identified the beneficiaries through DOLE’s profiling activities in line with the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Progra, (CLPEP). With the help of the Zamboanga City Field Office, we were able to refer them to ZCMC for this maiden engagement,” he added.

He said that additional services will be provided to the children in this continuing partnership with the medical center.

ZCFO Head Makaraya U. Adil said that the engagement was an offshoot from the 2nd quarter meeting of the Local Council Against Child Labor (LCACL). During this meeting, ZCMC Chief, Dr. Afdal B. Kunting committed to give medical attention to profiled child laborers referred to the center.

The LCACL is an inter-agency committee composed of national government agencies in Zamboanga City that aims to amplify government efforts for the protection of the rights of vulnerable sectors, especially the children, strengthen related institutional mechanisms, and establish further measures to contribute to the prevention, reduction, and elimination of any form of child labor.

Parents of child laborers who accompanied their children that day were privileged to have availed of the medical mission.

“Mula nang isinilang ang anak ko, hindi pa siya natitingnan ng doktor. Kami’y nagpapasalamat sa DOLE at nacheck-up na talaga ang kondisyon ng anak ko. (From the time he was born up until now, my child had never been assessed by a doctor. Thank you DOLE because now we’re able to have his condition checked.),” verbalized one parent.

Mr. Adil said that more child laborers needing medical attention will get the opportunity to avail of ZCMC’s medical services for free.

DOLE 9 is firm in upholding the rights of children including their protection from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, and discrimination and other conditions prejudicial to their development, particularly child labor and its worst forms. ###