The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has made major advancements in eliminating child labor including its worst forms in the seven months of the Duterte administration, Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said yesterday.
“We have made significant strides in curbing child labor in poor communities, especially its worst forms,” Bello said.
Child labor jeopardizes the physical, mental or moral well-being of a child, either because of its nature or because of the conditions in which it is carried out, and known as hazardous work.
Bello noted that last September, the United States Department of Labor, in its Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor cited the Philippines as having achieved significant advancement in its efforts to eliminate the hazardous forms of child labor.
“This is the fourth year in a row that the Philippines was cited positively by the study. The study highlighted the assessment of government’s effort in eliminating the worst forms of child labor,” he said.
Bello also reported that as of November, the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), has certified 60 barangays as child labor free bringing to a total of 219 certified barangays since 2014.
DOLE has been campaigning for Child Labor-Free Barangays to contribute to the vision of a “Child Labor-Free Philippines” through influencing change and obtaining commitment and support from various stakeholders.
On the other hand, the DOLE Regional Offices awarded Child Labor-Free Certificates to 38 establishments, with a grand total of 199 CLFE certified establishments since 2013. The Child Labor-Free Establishment Certificate is conferred to a company or establishment that is not employing child labor and not using products or materials produced through the use of child labor.
Grant of a Child Labor-Free Establishment Certificate aims to promote compliant and socially responsible business practices as establishment-based component of the Labor Department’s Campaign for a Child Labor-Free Philippines.
Meanwhile, Bello issued Administrative Order No. 439, Series of 2016, or the Child Protection Policy of the Department of Labor and Employment, on August 16, 2016 which provides a framework of principles, standards, guidelines and procedures in relation to creating a “child-safe and child-friendly” organization; awareness-raising and prevention of abuse; personnel recruitment and training; management system; guidelines for appropriate and inappropriate behavior; guidelines for communication regarding children; and recognizing, reporting and responding to allegations of abuse.