By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 267 s. 1993, October was declared as National Children’s Month to emphasize the importance of the role of the child within the Filipino family and in nation building.
The Department of Labor and Employment-Regional Office No.1 joins the nation in promoting and safeguarding the rights of children through various programs and undertakings. This year, in consonance with the theme, activities were lined up particularly to contribute in advancing the welfare of children through the Local Councils for the Protection of Children.
The advocacy on children’s rights as well as other programs, and concerns about children was intensified by the conduct of meetings with the various local officials down to the barangay level. Particularly in Mangaldan, Pangasinan, an orientation with the Association of Barangay Chairmen last October 03, 2011. The participants to this activity were provided information on the Project Angel Tree and on child rights and protection. The role of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children as an arm of the Department in ensuring that child labor is prevented within the communities was also discussed during the orientation.
In Bauang, La Union, an advocacy meeting with the Municipal Council for the Protection of Children was organized to further increase awareness on how the Department in partnership with the Local Government Unit can together address the needs of children within the locality. During the simultaneous nationwide General Assembly of barangays, the Department has joined the meeting of Barangay Central East, Bauang, La Union and has made use of the great opportunity to inform the community members and the respective barangay officials about DOLE’s programs relating to children as well as how we can all help in ensuring that the children of this nation can attain better future.
The strong commitment of DOLE-RO1 to prevent and eliminate child labor in the tobacco industry was manifested through the conduct of the Consultative Meeting of the Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Child Labor in the Tobacco Industry (SECLTI).
Relative to the implementation of the Eliminating Child Labor in the Tobacco Industry or the ECLTI Project, the meeting was called for to facilitate the finalization of the Project Proposal to utilize the unexpended funds from the ECLTI Project Phase 2. The main objective of the Project was to sustain the implementation of the ECLTI Project through the enhancement of the project components for the prevention and elimination of child labor incidence in the tobacco industry and to uplift the socio-economic condition of the beneficiaries. One of the program strategies identified in the project proposal was the Strengthening of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children. With the project, the members of the BCPC will be trained to become the agency’s partner in monitoring the incidence of child labor and to serve as vanguards in preventing the prevalence of this problem.
Other activities conducted in relation to the celebration of Children’s Month were participation in media advocacies. Through our media partners like the ABS-CBN Regional Network Group and Bombo Radyo, the programs and projects of the Department relating to children were aired.
In addition, promoting children's rights has been integrated in the conduct of trainings with employers, rural workers, and other clientele that the Department reaches out to.
Advancing the cause of children is not a one agency concern but requires a holistic approach facilitated by inter-agency as well as public-private partnership. This year, Children’s Month focuses on strengthening the Local Council for the Protection of Children as these administrative bodies are potential partners as advocates and most importantly as monitors on how the children are best served through different children-oriented programs and activities.
The Department believes that the children need us to fulfill the expectation that they are the hope of the nation. Therefore, let us provide them the opportunity to realize it by giving them better opportunities to succeed. We believe that together, we can!