With the hopes of achieving a child-labor-free Philippines through the promotion of strengthened inter-agency efforts, the Department of Labor and Employment IV-A - Batangas Provincial Office (DOLE BPO) organized the Makabatang Talakayan with participants from different local government units at its office training hall, Lipa City, Batangas, November 28.
As part of the celebration of National Children’s Month, DOLE BPO invited participants from all over the province to raise awareness of the plight of child laborers not only in the province but also in the world.
International Labour Organization Country Office for the Philippines, Senior Programme Officer, Ms. Ma. Concepcion Saradaña, graced the event and shed light on the global trends in child labor.
Furthermore, she also discussed the roadmap to 2025 encompassing employment promotion and decent work for adults to help their families generate adequate income and not resort to child labor.
“So, why do we make sure that there's no child labor? Dahil basically, hindi lang siya nakakaapekto sa bata. In terms of health, education, and well-being, it's also affecting yung reduction ng poverty as if it becomes a cycle pag ang mga bata hindi nakatapos mag-aral, anong klase ng trabaho ang makukuha nila? At later on, yung mga anak sila, paano nila ipapadala rin na naman sa eskwelahan? So, it really becomes a vicious cycle,” she remarked.
Ms. Saradaña shared the international perspective on the plight of the child laborers during the Makabatang Talakayan at DOLE BPO.
After Ms. Saradaña, the Chief Labor and Employment Officer of DOLE’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), Mr. Jerommel Gabriel shared the salient features of Philippines laws and the current programs of the department on child labor prevention and elimination.
He further talked through the essence of collectively working in formulating programs to end child labor.
“Strengthening of partnership. As I said, ‘yan yung kailangan natin, kailangan tayo mag-converge, the establishment of regional councils against child labor or the ground regions,” Mr. Gabriel emphasized.
Mr. Gabriel discussed the Republic Act No. 9231 and the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) which serve as guides in promoting healthy, nourished, and sheltered life for the children and their families.
One of the attendees, Mr. Arnold Enriquez from the local government unit of San Juan, Batangas recognized the efforts of the department in bringing together the government sectors in achieving the goal for the benefit of the children and their families.
He further pledged their continuous cooperation in building a better nation for the next generation.
Participants from different local government units in Batangas shared their insights on the challenges they encounter in preventing child labor in their respective localities.
“So, yun po yung mga takeaway na nakuha ko, na bilang kinatawan naman ng LGU yung tinatawag nating whole of government approach, kaisa ng DOLE ang ibang tanggapan ng lokal na pamahalaan, kami ay makikipagtulungan sa DOLE. Upang sa ganun ang objective o yung vision na mawala yung child labor sa ating bansa, ay magawa natin sa mga susunod na taon,” Ms. Enriquez uttered.
To culminate the program, Ms. Saradaña commended the participants for contributing to the continuous quest towards a future free from the hazardous and exploitative work of children.
“So please keep up the good work. Kailangan kayo mga bata. They need to be decent adults in the future. They are the future. So thank you very much for all your efforts,” Ms. Saradaña concluded.
DOLE BPO Provincial Director Predelma Tan also extended her gratitude for the time and effort of the participants in supporting the programs of the department and to the resource speakers in sharing their time and expertise in strengthening the program on child labor prevention and elimination.