Children who will be featured in a documentary material will no longer need to secure a work permit prior to engaging in public entertainment or information related projects. This after Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III issued Department Circular No. 2 series of 2018 amending the coverage and requirements for the issuance of a working child permit.

Under the new rule, working child permit is no longer required for young talents who will be featured in documentary materials.

However, in case the child in the documentary material is engaged in child labor, the rule requires the producer to refer the child to the nearest DOLE Office for the necessary services needed by the child and family.

The producer is also enjoined not to disclose the identity of the child laborer including his or her photographs, images or video footages for the best interest of the minor pursuant to the Guide for Media Practitioners on the Reporting and Coverage of Cases Involving Children.

For group working permits, the DOLE Office must issue a group permit for children appearing in a single project covering those without working child permit yet.

As for the validity of working child permit, the amended rule states that in case the re-scheduling is due to unforeseen events and not the employer’s fault, the latter must notify in writing the DOLE Office that issued the permit immediately after the parent or guardian of the child has been informed that the work has been re-scheduled.

The new rule also requires that before a work permit is issued, the guardian is obliged to submit proof of parental authority. This includes proof of relationship to the child and a Notarized Affidavit that explains the reason for exercising parental authority over the child.

The rule also provides that substitution of child’s guardian in terms of parental authority must only be applied in case of death, absence or unsuitability of both parents and a legal guardian of the child.

Under Article 216 of the Family Code, the child’s surviving grandparent; oldest brother, sister or actual custodian over 21 years of age, unless unfit or disqualified, will be the order of preference on substitute parental authority.

In November last year, Bello issued Department Circular No. 2 that sets a new guideline on the issuance of work permit for minors engaged in public entertainment or information related projects.

As defined under Department Order No. 65-04, public entertainment or information refers to an artistic, literary, and cultural performances for a television show, radio program, cinema or film, theater, commercial advertisement, public relations activities or campaigns, print materials, internet, and other media.

END/Tim Laderas

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