The labor department, together with its social partners, is pushing for a more inclusive and preventive interventions in eliminating child labor and its worst form.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who led the annual observance of World Day Against Child Labor in Pasay City, emphasized the importance of providing inclusive assistance to child laborers and their families, specifically the provision of their basic needs, such as the right to quality education.
“Holistic approach must be sustained to further reduce the cases of child labor that rooted from complex social factors. Inclusive and necessary assistance to child laborers must be provided including livelihood for their parents and quality education for the children,” Bello said.
The labor chief also reminded hundreds of students who attended the event to pursue their education that will help them land decent employment towards a successful life away from any abuse and exploitation.
“Education is the best vehicle to a brighter future. Pursue your education and that is the best anathema to child labor,” Bello said.
In January 2017, DOLE and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) together with other concerned agencies and organizations have teamed up in advocating for a child-labor free Philippines by launching convergence projects including the CARING Gold Project of the International Labor Organization and BanToxics, the Strategic Help Desks for Information, Education, Livelihood and other Developmental Interventions against Child Labor, and the Module on Child Labor for the Family Development Sessions of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
Also, DOLE has so far profiled 85,582 child laborers in 16 regions of which 18,651 were referred to appropriate agencies for the provision of services and assistance needed by the children and their families.
Livelihood assistance in form of Negokart and starter kits are also provided to parents of child laborers to enable their families to start their livelihood as a preventive measure against child labor.
DOLE through its regional and field offices are also in the process of hiring community facilitators and enumerators to fast-track the profiling of target child laborers, specifically to the areas with high child labor incidence.
These initiatives are aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, which targets to reduce the cases of child labor by 30 percent or 630,000 from the estimated 2.1 million child laborers nationwide.
END/ Abegail de Vega, DOLE-IPS
DOLE Information and Publication Service