Prexie A. Caronan, DOLE CBFO head says that they are looking at intensifying engagement of local government units (LGU) and the barangays to take the lead in raising consciousness of parents on the issue.
She further urges local officials to support local livelihood opportunities for the parents of child laborers so that their children will not be forced to work just to help in augmenting the income of their families.
Considering the stringent health and safety protocols that limit the access of DOLE personnel in the areas, the strategy to engage barangay officials in the child labor elimination campaign is timely and doable, Caronan added. DOLE personnel is set to conduct barangay-based orientation on child labor elimination and prevention.
Meanwhile, Director Joel M. Gonzales of DOLE Region 2 says that the fight to ensure children’s rights and to combat child labor is a shared responsibility among different government agencies, the business sector, non-government agencies, and other stakeholders that are mandated to promote children’s rights and welfare.
Gonzales urges DOLE field office heads and focal persons to intensify their commitments in supporting the government’s effort on child labor elimination and prevention in collaboration with LGUs’ Public Employment Service Office (PESO). “Let us not forget to put heart in demonstrating our duty to protect the children,” he added.
The region also recently conducted a virtual orientation seminar on child labor elimination and prevention for PESO managers, facilitators, encoders, field office heads and focal persons in the region, recognizing the need to promote a deeper understanding of preventing children from engaging in hazardous work.
Gonzales further hopes for LGUs’ full cooperation so that children will be given the opportunity to develop in a safe environment and have a chance to become productive and better leaders of tomorrow.
Moreover, the director ordered all field offices to start profiling child laborers in their respective provinces in order to assess the needs of the children involved in hazardous works and their parents so that appropriate intervention will be given.
The department has strengthened the implementation of various programs and mechanisms designed to address the worst forms of child labor. These refer to slavery, sale, and trafficking of children, forced labor; the use of children for prostitution, pornography, and illegal activities; and hazardous work, which are harmful to the health, safety, and moral of children.
The region is expected to profile at least 7,666 child laborers this year. Parents of child laborers may avail of the livelihood programs of DOLE. Other needs of the children and their parents shall be referred to concerned government agencies such as DSWD, DepEd, TESDA, DTI, among others in order to deliver appropriate interventions. (PIA-2)