Press Releases
Child laborer's mom sees a ray of hope in DOLE's intervention

To protect the identity of the former child laborer, his name was changed in this article.

Mrs. Irene Durian Carolino, 41, a parent of a child laborer from Tuao, Cagayan struggles to nurture her five young souls as a housemaid, with her husband complementing her earnings by being a part-time construction worker. Their family struggles to shake poverty loose by painstakingly finding means and ways to make ends meet every single day. The same routine she traversed each day of her life, from cleaning the house and washing clothes to caregiving in her master’s house as maid or kasambahay just to have a penny to buy food for the day.

My son Harvey was 12 years old when he started working on the farm as a fertilizer spreader so that he could contribute to the family’s income. He willingly took up the role of supporting us to work for a living even under the harsh heat of the sun which can be unbearable for a 12-year-old boy,” Irene says.

My son works as a fertilizer spreader for 6 to 8 hours a day and earns 140 pesos.”

Irene says that although life is difficult, their commitment to be able to provide for the day-to-day needs of their family takes precedence over anything else, saying that she realizes the dangers put on the young boy’s shoulders by taking on a job fit for adults.

Mahirap ang buhay pero hindi kami susuko kasi balang araw alam ko na makakaahon din kami sa kahirapan. Alam ko din na hindi tama na magtrabaho ang aking anak sa delikadong gawain ngunit wala kaming magawa dahil kailangan namin ang dagdag kita at kagustuhan din ng aking anak ang tumulong,” she adds.

To help foster growth in their capacity to provide for their family and to eliminate the chances that the child will go back to working again, DOLE livelihood assistance to the family which has since added to the income of the monthly. She says that she has also started selling vegetable produce in her barangay, further extending her market and creating avenues for more income.

Malaki ang pasasalamat namin sa pangkabuhayan na binigay ng DOLE noong nakalipas na taon. Nabigyan ako ng bigasan na nagkakahalaga ng 19,000 pesos. Napakalaking tulong ito sa aming kabuhayan dahil nadagdagan ang aming kita. Kumikita ako ng 4,600 pesos bawat buwan sa bigasan at nagtitinda din ako ng mga gulay sa aming barangay,” Irene says.

Today, Irene still does her housemaid duties but she has trimmed her duties to include only the weekends to eb able to tend to their growing rice vending project. Her son who now is 14 and after 2 years as a child laborer, has also started going back to school as a 7th grader and looks forward to the day that he graduates and helps their family thrive.

Gumagaan na ang buhay namin at natatanaw namin ang bagong pag-asa na darating sa bawat araw ng aming buhay sa pamamagitan ng tulong pangkabuhayan mula sa DOLE,” Irene says, with a sense of hope for better days ahead.

Noong wala pang assistance mula sa DOLE ang kita ko kada araw ay pumapatak lang ng 3,000 pesos kada buwan pero simula noong nabigyan ako ng Starter Kit mula sa gobyerno kumikita na ako ng 4,600 pesos kada buwan at natutukan ko pa ang aking mga anak na nasa murang edad pa lamang,” she closes. FCA/

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