Koronadal City - As part of their school assignment, several students of the Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU), this City, requested the Department of Labor and Employment-South Cotabato Field Office (DOLE-SCFO) for an orientation on Republic Act 9231 otherwise known as “An Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child”.
Ruby Carrasco, field office focal on the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) presented the preliminary results of the 2011 Survey on Children.
Based on the results, of the 5.49 million children at work, 3.03 million were considered as child laborers and 2.99 million were reported to be exposed to hazardous child labor nationwide.
Carrasco stressed to the students to know the difference between child work and child labor. Child work is basically light work that teaches children to learn to take responsibilities while child labor deprives a child of his/her rights to health and education, exposes him/her to harmful/hazardous work and takes constant and long hours of work.
Subsequently, Carrasco presented the salient features of RA 9231, emphasizing on the prohibition against the worst forms of child labor.
In response to the students’ queries on what the Department has done so far to reduce if not eliminate the number of children in hazardous situations, Ms. Carrasco proceeded to apprise them on the DOLE’s program interventions for child laborers, to include, among others, continuous advocacies, rescue operations, educational assistance through Project Angel Tree and livelihood packages for parents of child laborers.
The students, upon learning and understanding the vast problem of children in hazardous situations, pledged to help in advocating against child labor. (rbcarrasco)