The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 through its Zamboanga Sibugay Field Office came up with a strategy to effectively and efficiently campaign for the elimination of child labor in the province.Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that the DOLE 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.

“We are actively campaigning against child labor and we seek to bring this to the community level so that we can have a common understanding of what it is and gain the public’s support in fighting against it,” Director Buenafe added.

Trendy and with the potential to go viral, a “Batang Malaya” Tiktok Dance Challenge was launched in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay on June 18, 2021 via social media platforms Facebook and Tiktok.

The contest aimed to showcase the talent and creativity of participants in making a Tiktok dance video that raises awareness on the Campaign Against Child Labor using social media as a platform of advocacy.

A total of 19 groups composed of three or more members each proudly took the challenge and posted their entries on social media to gather reactions and shares. By the end of the challenge period, the entries accumulated 9,091 likes and 33,314 shares from the different municipalities of Zamboanga Sibugay.

The awarding ceremony was conducted via Zoom Teleconference and streamed live via Facebook on June 21, 2021.

Bagging 1st place was Kabataang Mandirigma from Siay while Mabini Youth from Mabini,Titay and Siay Youth Ministry placed 2nd and third place, respectively. Landing on the 4th place was Mga Batang Palaban (MBP) of Veterans Village, Ipil. The winners received cash prizes and certificates. Official entries may be viewed at www.facebook.com/dole.sibugay.

Director Buenafe, in his message during the ceremony, amplified the call to partner agencies, LGU’s and communities to support DOLE’s efforts to prevent children from going into child labor.

Moreover, Atty. Buenafe commended the DOLE Sibugay Field office for developing an innovative activity to promote the campaign against child labor and persevere in implementing DOLE’s anti-child labor initiatives.

“Pinaagi niining programa, kining atong Batang Malaya Tiktok Dance Challenge, ato ning mapaabot ngadto sa komunidad. Usa kini ka pagkaamgo dili lamang kanatong naa sa gobyerno kundili sa tanan natong mga kasilinganan nga kining child labor usa kini sa matang sa pakighimaraot sa atung komunidad og sa atong gobyerno. Nalipay tag dako nga ang Zamboanga Sibugay Field Office ning-abot sa kini nga kalihokan ug syempre ako personal nga nagpasalamat sa mga PESO Managers ug LGU’s sa Zamboanga Sibugay. (Through this program, we extended this Batang Malaya Tiktok Dance Challenge to the community. It is indeed a relaization not only to those of us in government but to all of our neighborhoods that this child labor is truly a problem in the community and of our government. We are very happy that the Zamboanga Sibugay Field Office has come up with this activity. I personally thank the PESO Managers and LGU’s in Zamboanga Sibugay),” he added.

The event highlighted the 2021 World Day Against Child Labor celebration with the theme “Makibahagi, Makialam at Magkaisa para sa #Batang Malaya.

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