ADDRESSING CHILD LABOR. Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao labor minister Romeo Sema (center) hands over a PHP20,000 check to a mother whose child was chosen as a beneficiary of the Sagip Batang Manggagawa program in Maguindanao province. The program intends to help address the issue of child labor in the region. (Photo courtesy of MOLE-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – The parents of 180 poor children in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have received cash assistance from the regional government to help address the perennial problem of child labor in the region, an official said Saturday.

Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) – BARMM Minister Romeo Sema said the regional government office is committed to addressing child labor in all five regional component-provinces through the Sagip Batang Manggagawa (SBM) program.

During a ceremony held in Maguindanao on Friday, each parent received PHP20,000 in cash assistance under the initiative.

“The project is (in) consonance with the efforts of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim to address this nagging (child labor) problem,” Sema said.

He added that similar fund distribution would take place for identified recipients in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi in the coming days. (PNA)