MAMBAJAO, CAMIGUIN, July 14 – In commemoration of Mambajao’s 160th founding anniversary on 6 July 2015, the Department of Labor and Employment – region 10 (DOLE-10), in a joint initiative with the Local Government Unit (LGU) hosted a mural painting competition where hue of colors blended to raise awareness on child labor.
Twenty students from four high schools in the municipality painted murals now standing proudly in the walls of the old wharf parola where tourists, bystanders and the people of locality will be reminded in taking stand against unjust and inhuman labor conditions experienced by children and youth everywhere, with the featured advocacy, “In a Dream of a Child.”
The local theme is inspired from the International Labour Organization’s campaign, “YES to Education. NO to Child Labor.”
A ribbon cutting gave signal to the start of the competition that was graced by Governor Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo, Congressman Xavier Jesus D. Romualdo, Mayor Maria Luisa D. Romualdo, Sangguniang Bayan members Raquel B. Ranara, Marivic J. Jansul, DOLE-X Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante and Camiguin OIC PFO Head Arlyn Z. Bael.
Mayor Romualdo, in an interview, cited the importance of the event and pledged the LGU’s unwavering support towards curbing any incidents of child labor in her municipality and the whole province of Camiguin.
“This is an expression and awareness about child labor. Children’s frustrations are poured out through arts. We never knew about child labor until DOLE came in,” she said.
She further explained that even though occurrence of child labor is non-existing in the place, the LGU has been making every effort, through DOLE-X to ensure that this is completely eradicated.
The whole-day activity is a major output after the island was declared as “Child Labor-free Province” in 2012.
Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante said “One important way to prevent child labor is to ensure that all children are enrolled in schools. By doing this we avoid the pitfalls and the dangers.”
Agravante encouraged all in attendance, especially the children to take advantage of all the programs designed by the Department of Education to stimulate their interest in education, including the implementation of the K-12 program, and lauded the role of teachers in the fight against child labor.
The LGU has been very proactive to the extent that it has enrolled nearly 100 percent of children in schools, meeting the president’s millennium development goals, as well as creating a child-friendly environment.
Meanwhile, participant Jeyvee C. Lequigan, a grade 10 student of Fatima College of Camiguin expressed “Parents should not leave their children for them to be protected and be productive individuals. DOLE-X’s artistic idea makes the old parola look nice and become a local tourism spot. More people would come to take pictures and post those in the social media.”
Nicolas A. Marto, Yumbing National High School coach lauded DOLE for giving the children the avenue to develop their skills and talents.
“This is the best activity because you (DOLE) opened doors in facilitating the use of artwork as a means of fighting against child labor. For sure, they (students) will consider this as their lifetime achievement.”
Declared winners are Tupsan National High School (4th Place), Fatima College of Camiguin (3rd Place), Mambajao National High School (2nd Place) and Yumbing National High School (1st Place). Winners received P5,000.00; P4,000.00; P3,000.00 and P1,500.00, respectively.
Judges include Generoso V. Retor, Oscar Cioco and RD Raymundo G. Agravante. (Glenford C. Labial/DOLE-10)