Manila, Philippines - To strengthen its campaign for the prevention and elimination of child labor, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has rolled out a series of programs and activities this year. The DOLE is focusing in the countryside where many barangays have a high incidence of child labor.
Targeting 80 barangays to become child-labor-free this year, DOLE's 16 regional offices have reactivated the Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPC) in their areas. DOLE regional directors have been directed to disseminate information on the provisions of Republic Act 9231, so all officials concerned can more effectively protect children from the worst forms of child labor.
The DOLE has begun improving the working conditions of children - banning child employment in hazardous jobs and enforcing standards and policies under the department's mandate. Through the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), the DOLE is setting up a recognition program that will cite child-labor-free establishments under its Incentivizing Compliance Program (ICP). The campaign to achieve a child-labor-free Philippines is being carried out in close coordination with local government officials, from governors to mayors to barangay captains.
The DOLE has noted that in 2011, its vigilance resulted in the removal of 9,985 children from the worst forms of child labor in the country. In cooperation with its program partners, it provided educational assistance to 30,983 child laborers and children-at-risk in the provinces of Bulacan, Camarines Norte, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Cebu, Leyte, Davao City, Davao del Sur, and Metro Manila.
As Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz put it, addressing child labor across the country is not just the government's concern; it is the concern of everybody in the community. A holistic approach is needed in promoting and safeguarding the rights of children and advancing their welfare. MABUHAY!