DOLE 2012:Banner year for fight against child labor
DOLE’s novel child-labor free barangay campaign gets underway; 89 barangays, 4,863 child laborers, 1,849 parents reached in 2012
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the Department of Labor and Employment has made a great stride in the fight against child labor in 2012 with its community-based Child Labor-Free Barangay Campaign which underscores the government’s determination to minimize, if not end, child labor in the country.
The Child Labor-Free Barangay campaign, launched by the DOLE in July 2012, seeks to bring down to the community level--the barangay, the basic geo-political unit--the campaign against child labor, foster common understanding on, and gain public support for, the DOLE Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program.
"As a result, we reached out to free 89 barangays in 2012. I myself personally visited 30 of these barangays in 15 regions from July to November 2012. In these barangays, the DOLE, through its regional offices, benefited 4,863 child laborers and 1,849 parents with various converged programs and services," said Baldoz in a year-end press conference at the DOLE in Intramuros, Manila.
The campaign, using convergence strategies, aims to free identified barangays from child labor, and also to influence change, identify allies, and solicit commitments of support of stakeholders, specifically government agencies, non-government and faith-based organizations, local chief executives, private sector establishments, and the parents of child laborers themselves.
"The DOLE's child labor-free barangay campaign sets the tone for child laborers and their parents in the target barangays to take the first step towards self-transformation and empowerment through education or other interventions," said Baldoz.
“At the barangay level, we are implementing measures to prevent and eliminate child labor with the full support of the community and its leaders,” Baldoz added.
During Baldoz's barangay visits, which she started in July and ended in November, she enlisted the support of local government units, non-government organizations, and the parents of present and former child laborers to the DOLE campaign. All the barangays she had visited have firmed up their collaboration with their LGUs and other government offices through memorandum of agreements and barangay resolutions.
The barangays which Baldoz had visited during the year were Brgy. Pasong Putik, Quezon City and Brgy. 194 Villamor Airbase in Pasay City in the National Capital Region; Brgy. Balenguian, Jabonga in Agusan del Norte ; Brgy Ipil-Ipil, Catarman in Northern Samar; Brgy. Azagra in Tanjay City in Negros Oriental; Brgy. Antipolo, Pontevedra in Negros Occidental; Brgys. Kibuaya, Hagonoy, and Pasig, Kiblawan in Davao Del Sur; Brgys. Butong, Quezon, San Jose, Mt. Nebo, and Valencia City in Bukidnon; Brgys. Bagumbayan, Nursery, Pating, and Tugbo in Masbate City; Brgy. Alcala in Pangasinan; Brgy. Baloan in La Union; Brgy. San Emilio, Ilocos Sur and Brgy. Pinili, Ilocos Norte; Brgys. Bulatok and Butong in Pagadian City; Brgy. Dalahican in Lucena City; Brgy, Bula in General Santos City, and Brgy. Libas in Buenavista, Marinduque.
Most of the children beneficiaries in these barangays were engaged in hazardous work, such as scavenging, deep-sea fishing, farming, mining, domestic work, hauling of logs, stevedoring, and production of pyrotechnics .
The labor chief also reported that the DOLE regional offices have, during the year, facilitated the reactivation and empowerment of 171 Barangay Child Protection Committees (BCPC) nationwide. The reactivation and establishment of the BCPC is one of the strategies under the campaign.
The number of BCPC installed were: in Region 4-B (1 BCPC); National Capital Region (two); Region 12 (two); Cordillera Administrative Region, Regions 1 and 7 (four each); Regions 5 , 9 and 10 (six each); Region 3 and 11 (seven each); Region 8 (nine); and Regions 4-A and 6 (eighteen each); and Caraga (87 BCPC).
“The Child Labor-Free Barangay campaign has not only accelerated the fight against child labor in the country. It has also ensured the education of the children who were victims of child labor, and opened livelihood opportunities to their families,” said Baldoz.
She explained that DOLE regional offices nationwide are working with local government units in the formulation of local/barangay development plans, ordinances, and resolutions essential in preventing and eliminating child labor in their respective communities.
“In 2012, our campaign strategies focused on stricter enforcement of child labor laws, knowledge sharing through the Child Labor Knowledge Sharing System, integrated livelihood through the DILP-CED, emergency employment through the CBEP, and alternative employment for child workers’ families,” said Baldoz.
During her barangay visits Baldoz and DOLE's social partners handed out school kits and supplies to child laborers, and business Starter Kits to their parents.
The Child Labor-Free Barangay campaign is central to the direction of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor which aims for the prevention and progressive elimination of child labor incidence in the country.
Baldoz said uniting behind the campaign to ensure its outcome--the transformation of every barangay into child-labor free communities--and measuring the impact of the campaign on the lives of the people is the key towards the success of the PPACL.
The PPACL is the official national program on the elimination of child labor which is a convergence of the efforts of government, the private sector (employers' groups and workers' organizations), non-government organizations, and international development institutions. The implementation of the PPACL is spearheaded by the National Child Labor Committee chaired by the DOLE.