Monday, 21 May 2012 11:46
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) spearheaded on Friday the simultaneous nationwide launching of its campaign for child labor-free barangays as part of the overall program for the prevention and progressive elimination of child labor in the country.
At the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) in Quezon City, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz and Jess Far, Child Protection Officer of UNICEF, led the awarding of educational packages for 100 child laborers.
Baldoz and DOLE NCR Director Alan Macaraya also awarded P20,000-worth Negocarts as livelihood project for each of the five families of child laborers.
“In some point in time, let’s dream that the Philippines will be a child labor-free zone,” Baldoz said.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte emphasized that the issue on child labor is not only an issue of poverty and economics as she led 142 barangay chairpersons of Quezon City in signing a commitment to action for the launching of the campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays.
Under the DOLE Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (DOLE-CLPEP), barangay councils will be the partners of DOLE in ensuring that child labor is prevented within their communities.
Under their Commitment of Action, the barangay chairmen committed to eliminate the worst form of child labor and protect children from all forms of cruelty, abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination and other conditions prejudicial to their development.
To carry this action they commit to strengthen enforcement and compliance to laws like RA 9231, RA 2098, and other child protection laws including the conduct of advocacy activities like family development sessions and mainstream child labor agenda by passing ordinances/resolutions for the prevention and prohibition of child labor.
The barangay leaders also committed to:
-- Help provide access to services that will facilitate the return-to-school of children who are not attending formal schooling or alternative learning sessions;
-- Institutionalize and strengthen partnership to establish a functional Barangay Council for the Protection of Children; and
-- Establish functional information system wherein they will maintain a data base on children who are not attending school and those engaged in child labor.
The launching program manifests the government's serious commitment to fight child labor through the development and implementation of actions aimed at achieving a child labor-free Philippines.
By Swella Pagacita
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