Baguio City – Katie, 14 years old and her friends were excited preparing requirements as they are about for the first time enter the world of work and be employed as a service crew in one of the fast food chains in the city. The salary they will receive will be used to buy new clothes, school supplies, upgrade their cell phones or save money for the rainy day.
A nationwide Kiddie Crew Workshop Program is now being implemented nationwide by a fast food chain from April 2 until June 22, 2018. According to the Human Resource Director of the fast food chain in their letter to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Kiddie Crew Workshop Program aims to promote camaraderie and make the summer worthwhile to participating kids 6-12 years of age. The 5-day workshop will run for two (2) hours per day covering the following activities: a) Meet and Greet; b) Art and Burger making workshop; c) Values formation guidance; d) Sing and dance number; e) Get together and presentation of their artworks.
The company bosses of the Golden Arches Development Corporation wrote DOLE Undersecretary Joel B. Maglungsod regarding the Kiddie Crew Workshop Program and explained the safety of the participating kids as their priority at all times and that all floor activities will be limited only to meet and greet at the counter and lobby area.
In the official answer to the corporation, the DOLE considered the components of the Kiddie Crew Workshop Program and expressed support and pose no objection to the program considering that the participating kids will not be engaged in work which would require work permit from the DOLE as provided by Republic Act 9231 otherwise known as “An Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child, which amended Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as the ‘Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”.
The DOLE reminded the Golden Arches Development Corporation that “Children below fifteen (15) years of age shall not be allowed to work except: 1) When a child works directly under the sole responsibility of his/her parents or legal guardian and where only members of his/her family are employed; or 2) Where a child’s employment or participation in public entertainment or information is essential.
For the case of Katie and her friends, who are below 15 years of age, the fast food chain manager that allowed them to process the requirements for employment has violated the conditions for the employment of children.
The DOLE also reminds business establishment and employers the Hours of Work of a Working Child. – Under the exceptions provided in Section 12, as amended that a child below fifteen (15) years of age may be allowed to work for not more than twenty (20) hours a week; provided, that the work shall not be more than four (4) hours at any given day. This refers to a child’s employment or participation in public entertainment or information through cinema, theater, radio, television or other forms of media is essential. No child below fifteen (15) years of age shall be allowed to work between eight o’ clock in the evening and six o’ clock in the morning of the following day
A child fifteen (15) years of age but below eighteen (18) shall not be allowed to work for more than eight (8) hours a day, and in no case beyond forty (40) hours a week and that no child fifteen (15) years of age but below eighteen (18) shall be allowed to work between ten o’ clock in the evening and six o’ clock in the morning of the following day.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued Department Order No. 149-A that now classified other work and related farming activities as hazardous and among the worst forms of child labor. They include plant propagation activities that involve grafting, budding and marcotting, and tending activities that involve weeding of soil. The scope of the ban on the employment of minors in agriculture and livestock farming is to prevent young people from exposure to hazardous work conditions.
The order also reinforced the existing ban on the employment of minors in farm activities as clearing of land, plowing, harrowing, irrigating, constructing paddy dike and cutting. Also declared as hazardous are handling, spraying and application of harmful fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals; and loading and carrying of heavy loads.
Minors are also not allowed in harvesting activities that involve cutting and picking, spreading for drying, hauling, topping, tumbling, tuxying, stripping, burning of field, sticking and classifying, threshing, loading and carting of produce.
In post-harvest, minors may not be employed in de-husking, scooping, sacking of products, charcoal making, hauling of products as led by animal guide, loading and unloading of packed farm products, coconut kilning and de-meating from shell or core, sealing and carting of produce for warehousing and transport to market and all ancillary work such as clearing, cleaning, and recycling of farm waste in its preparation as animal food and other related processes.
In livestock farming, the work and related activities that are declared hazardous to minors include: rearing such as collecting, loading, unloading and transporting of feeds, maintenance and care of large and/or dangerous animals, collecting and disposal of dead animals, animal manure and other waste materials, administering of vaccines and vitamins, and handling of disinfectants used for cleaning animal pens/enclosures or for disinfecting animals.
Also not allowed are harvesting activities that involve catching or collecting, ranching, and milking in preparation for warehousing or transport to market, and post-harvest activities including the packaging and processing of dairy and other animal by-products in preparation for warehousing and transport to market; and working in slaughterhouses or abattoirs./Patrick T Rillorta