ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 4, 2022 – “Di’ pangsulat ginaalsa kay mas anad mi sa pala…para lang makapalit gatas bugas ug tinapa,” one of the iconic lines from the champion rap duo of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Merwin T. Andrade and Joseph P. Basilio who make up the Mamai n’ Jojo Rap Duo emerged as the grand winner of DOLE Zamboanga Sibugay Field Office’s Batang Malaya Tiktok Rap Challenge held on July 1, 2022 at the Ipil Municipal Covered Court in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

The rap competition is the field office’s creative way of celebrating World Day Against Child Labor (WDACl) anchored on the theme “Karapatan at Kalagayan ng Batang Manggagawa: Sagipin, Tugunan, at Protektahan ng Bayan”.

“We encouraged all DOLE field offices in the region to come up with activities which aim to focus attention on the global extent of child labor and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it,” said Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, Regional Director.

A total of seven competitors went up against each other with 2-3 minutes original rap compositions and music videos which were posted in DOLE ZSFO’s facebook page prior to the awarding. Participants performed their pieces live on stage during the awarding ceremony.

Aside from the rap duo, the following contestants were also awarded: Daniel Virtudazo a.k.a. Dan Xee bagged 2nd place, Home Ghetto Family (Alfredo Jangayo, Eleacer Jalaron, Leogen Cabatingan) won 3rd place while Diplahan SPES G1 got the 4th place. All winning entries received cash prizes, tokens and certificates.

The board of judges was composed of Assistant RD Imelda F. Gatinao, Labor Information Officer Karen Claire Grafia, Police Lieutenant Marlene Galves of the PNP Women and Children Desk, Junila O. Regaṅon and Gloria Patayan, both of the DSWD SWAD and Bayani Timbal of Sibuguey Valley Community Multipurpose CATV Cooperative.

“In the eyes of a child, there is joy, there is laughter, there is hope, and there is trust, a chance to shape the future…” ARD Gatinao sang this line in her opening remakrs from the famous song “In The Eyes of A Child” urging everyone to actively join and intensify the campaign against child labor.

She went on to say that the DOLE is implementing the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP) to profile child laborers and give them and their parents assistance thru livelihood and other social services.

“We hope that the campaign against child labor does not end here but will continue until it is entirely eliminated,” she concludes. ###