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DOLE and SOCCSKSARGEN’s Regional Development Council now allies against child labor

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday expressed appreciation to the Regional Development Council of Region 12 (RDC-12) for passing a resolution mandating all local government units to support the DOLE’s Child Labor-Free Barangay (CLFB) camapign.

“Our efforts against child labor in SOCCSKSARGEN is now reinforced by the support of RDC-12. I thank the Council for its initiative to prevent and eradicate child labor in the region,” said Baldoz after receiving a copy of RDC XII Resolution No. 140, Series of 2012, “Enjoining all Local Government Units to Support the Initiative of the DOLE-Regional Office XII to Transform Barangays in the Region into Child Labor-Free Areas”.

In a letter to the Secretary, National Economic Development Authority XII Regional Director and RDC-12 Vice-Chairperson Arturo G. Valero said the Council conceived the resolution to further increase the level of awareness of every barangay in the region about the menace of child labor.

Passed during the 40th RDC XII meeting on 13 December 2012, the resolution supports the provisions of Republic Act 9231, or “An Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child”, that the State shall provide special protection to children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, and discrimination, and other conditions prejudicial to their development including child labor and its worst forms; provide sanctions for their commission and carry out a program for prevention and deterrence of and crisis intervention in situations of child abuse, exploitation and discrimination.

The DOLE Regional Office No. 12 launched the CLFB campaign in 2012, with eight barangays targeted for transformation into child labor-free areas. These are Barangays Malire and Antipas in Cadungon; Brgy. Saguing in Makilala; Brgy. Presbitero in Pinagkawayan; Brgy. Kematu in T’boli; and Barangays Lagao, San Isidro, and City Heights in General Santos City.

The SOCCSKSARGEN region consists of the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Saranggani, and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, and Cotabato.

"The implementation of the CLFB campaign will ensure that measures to prevent and eliminate child labor are carried out in convergence with our national and local partners and with the full support of the community and its leaders,” Baldoz said.

The CLFB campaign, Baldoz said, seeks to influence change, identify the roles and solicit commitments of stakeholders, particularly, government agencies, non-government organizations, private sector, local chief executives, and the parents of child laborers.

She also said the campaign is part of its contribution to the goals of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) of eliminating worst forms of child labor towards a child labor-free Philippines by 2016.

In 2012, the Child Labor-Free Barangay campaign benefited 4,863 child laborers and 1,894 parents nationwide.
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