First, the Dipolog City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the DOLE Regional Office No. 9 entered into a memorandum of agreement that seeks to make every business enterprise in Zamboanga del Norte child labor-free.
Second, one of Zamboanga del Norte's largest investors, TVI Resource Development (Philippines), Inc., inked an agreement, also with the DOLE regional office, enrolling itself and its eight (8) sub-contractors to the DOLE's Kapatiran-WISE TAV, or Kapatiran WISE-TAV Para sa Mas Ligtas, Malusog, at Produktibong Manggagawa," also known as the "Big Brother, Small Brother" Program.
"Thank you very much for your warm welcome to me here in Dipolog City," said Baldoz during the signing ceremony. "What makes my visit to your city memorable is the fact that you asked me to witness the signing of two very important agreements which will be very valuable to our employment generation efforts," she said.
The DOLE agreement with the DCCI calls for the latter to issue a policy statement against child labor; include in its advocacies child labor issues and policies; and promote among its members voluntary compliance of R.A. 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, Amending for this Purpose R.A. 7610, As Amended.
It also calls for the DCCI, in collaboration with the DOLE, to establish a recognition program for local business establishments that voluntarily comply with child labor laws and regulations.
Commending the DCCI, Baldoz said she is happy that the chamber commits all its member-business enterprises in Dipolog City and in the province to work with the DOLE to eliminate child labor.
"We will rally the private sector to actively participate in DOLE's child labor and working youth programs and projects," said Atty. Paulino Gudmalin, DCCI president, in response.
On the other hand, the DOLE undertakes to provide technical assistance and logistics support to the DCCI with regards the latter's conduct of anti-child labor activities and the crafting of programs geared towards making business establishments child labor-free; conduct information and education activities for the business sector on the provisions of R.A. 9231 and related laws, rules, and regulations on child labor and youth employment; and involve the business sector, through the DCCI , in various anti-child labor and youth employment programs and activities.
Baldoz also lauded TVI Resource Development (Philippines), Inc. for joining the DOLE's "Big Brother, Small Brother" Program, a flagship public-partnership program anchored on the ILO's Work Improvement in Small Enterprises, whose action-oriented approach has long proven to link productivity and product quality to safer and better working conditions.
"By joining the Kapatiran WISE-TAV, TVI Resource Development (Philippines), Inc. and its subcontractors demonstrate their agreement with us that your region's economic growth depends on a service contracting industry that complies with general labor and occupational safety and health standards, such as the payment of minimum wages, SSS, and other workers’ basic benefits," said Baldoz.
TVI Resource Development (Philippines), Inc. is an affiliate of Canadian-owned TVI Pacific Inc., a publicly-listed mining company with operations in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte. Its "Small Brothers" are KJAL Trucking and Hauling Services; Rene Bayawa Construction and Hauling Services; Monark Equipment Corporation; Albe Construction and Enterprises; DJL Trucking and Hauling Services; MVT Trucking and Hauling Services; MSKS Enterprises; and LDA Construction and Developer.
All in all, TVI Resource Development (Philippines), Inc.and its eight subcontractors have over 1,200 employed workers combined.
"We are happy to partner with the DOLE in the Kapatiran Program. We welcome its assistance to enable our company to uplift the economic situation, in general, and the working condition, in particular, of our workers and the people of the community where we operate and to ensure more productive, safe, and healthy environment," said Engr. Arturo Abad, safety officer of TVI Resource Development (Philippines), Inc.