Baguio City – To gather and grant wishes of child laborers in the Cordilleras, the Department of Labor and Employment – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOLE-CAR) has re-launched the Project Angel Tree: “ Lapis, Papel ATBP” to build up a network of patrons and supporters to the regional efforts against child labor.
The DOLE-CAR project “Lapis, Papel ATBP” adopted by the Rotary Club of Baguio Summer Capital (RCBSC) was launched in June 12, 2016 aims to protect and advance the welfare of children aged 17 and below under the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) and aims to gather and grant the wishes of child laborers through the building up of a network of patrons and supporters of the national efforts against child labor. Donors, benefactors, contributors and sponsors of the program are called angels. Services under the program include food, clothing, shelter, mentoring, livelihood, educational and medical assistance and other work and training opportunities for target child worker-beneficiaries.
DOLE-CAR OIC Regional Director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman said Project Angel Tree: “Lapis, Papel ATBP” is a manifestation of the joint efforts between government and the private sector in keeping children away from dangerous workplaces. With the support of our partner organizations and volunteers groups like the Rotary Club of Baguio Summer Capital (RCBSC), Baguio Lodge 67 of the Free and Accepted Masons, the University of the Philippines Baguio Namnama, JCI Baguio Sunflower Jaycees, SLU Boys High Ocho Tres, SLULES 79ers’, United Korean Community Association of the Philippines Northern Luzon, Hotel Supreme, Jomarcann General Construction, Interlink Management Security Corporation, Baguio Midland Courier and ABS-CBN TV 3 Baguio and regional line agencies composed of the DOLE Regional Coordinating Council member agencies (RCC), the Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking and RIACAT-CP-VAWC, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-CAR, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-CAR), Department of Education (DEPED-CAR) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA-CAR), we have has teamed up to fight the worst forms of child labor in the cordilleras.
He added that the “Worst forms of child labor” as enumerated in Sec. 3 of R.A. 9231 have four broad categories: (1) all forms of slavery, as defined under the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003”, or practices similar to slavery, such as sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labor, including recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; (2) use, procuring, offering or exposing of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography, or for pornographic performances; (3) use, procuring, or offering of a child for illegal or illicit activities, including the production and trafficking of dangerous drugs and volatile substances prohibited under existing laws; and (4) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is hazardous or likely to be harmful to the health, safety or morals of children.
“Child workers find themselves forced to drop out of school so that they could work to supplement family income or simply support themselves and through Project: Angel Tree: “ Lapis, Papel ATBP”, however, we are educating the children while providing their parents with livelihood or other income sources to break the bondage of poverty that ties child workers and their families to the cycle of child labor” Guzman added.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s 2011 Survey on Children, there are 2.1 million child laborers in the Philippines and in the Cordilleras, there are 92,897 child laborers and at risk to becoming child laborers.
Other continuing DOLE programs include the Sagip Batang Manggagawa (SBM), or Rescue Child Workers and Kabuhayan para sa Magulang ng Batang Manggawa (KaSaMa) which rescue child workers from hazardous and exploitative work while providing their parents access to decent livelihood opportunities to enhance their income so that they would no longer force their children to work.
“Eliminating child labor is a real challenge that requires collective action and close cooperation of government agencies, civil society organizations, local government units, media, parents and the children themselves,” Guzman added.
For more information, please call us at 074-443-5339 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit DOLE-CAR at no. 1, Cabinet Hill, Baguio City.
END/Patrick T. Rillorta
APPROVED FOR RELEASE:
EXEQUIEL A. GUZMAN
OIC Regional Director