The Department of Labor and Employment’s Incentivizing Compliance Program (ICP)–now in place to usher in among businesses a culture of voluntary compliance with labor laws, including laws against child labor, as well as with occupational safety and health standards–will greatly contribute to the national effort of eliminating child labor and its worst forms.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz emphatically said this yesterday at a press conference on child labor marking the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and Children’s Month in the Philippines, and highlighted by the Batang Malaya Football Tournament at the MacKinley Hill in Taguig City.

Baldoz was joined at the press conference by Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director, International Labor Organization Country Office for the Philippines, and the famous football-playing brothers, James and Phil Younghusband. Official representatives of member-agencies and organizations of the National Child Labor Committee led by Atty. Sonny Matula of the Federation of  Free Workers also attended the event.

The press conference served as the launch in the Philippines of the global campaign, Red Card to Child Labour. A red card is used in several sports, including football, to indicate a serious offense. When one gets a red card, that means he or she is out of the game.

To mark the launch of the Red Card to Child Labour in the country, the NCLC, in partnership with the ILO and the Younghusband Football Academy, organized a Batang Malaya football tournament where about 200 former child laborers played at the Emperador Stadium at the Bonifacio Global City.

In her message during the press conference, Secretary Baldoz said:

“The DOLE’s Incentivizing Compliance Program is a reform program in labor standards and occupational safety and health standards compliance which seeks to reward and recognize establishments voluntarily complying with labor laws, including laws against child labor.”

“One of the incentives under the ICP is the Child Labor-Free Establishment (CLFE) Certificate which the DOLE awards to companies that show commitment and exemplary adherence to the Child Labor Law under Republic Act 9231,” she added.

According to Baldoz, establishments or companies that receive the CLFE Certificate move closer towards receiving the Tripartite Certificate of Compliance with Labor Standards (TCCLS) and the Tripartite Seal of Excellence (TSE) all under the ICP.

The TSE can be obtained by an establishment upon acquiring all of the five DOLE good housekeeping certificates: the TCCLS, the CLFE, the Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan, National Productivity Olympics Award, and the Outstanding LMC Award for Industrial Peace.

Baldoz bared that even if the ICP is to be fully implemented yet next year, the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR), the country’s pioneer copper smelting plant, has already been awarded a Child Labor-Free Establishment (CLFE) Certificate, a DOLE reward to the company–and its eight contractors and 20 regular suppliers–for not employing any child laborer.

“PASAR has the distinction of being the first private business establishment in the country to earn this certificate. But I am very confident many more establishments will strive to earn the reward in the coming days,” she finally said.


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