CITY OF BALANGA – Some 165 parents of “children at risk” from Abucay and Mariveles, Bataan were oriented on Child Labor Awareness, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Tuesday.
The orientation was organized by the DOLE Bataan Field Office in partnership with the Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) of Abucay and Mariveles town.
The event was held to commemorate this year’s World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) anchoring the theme “End Child Labour In Supply Chains - It's Everyone's Business!”
DOLE Regional Director Atty. Ana Dione said that this year’s WADCL theme aims to solicit commitments of governments, parents, and other stakeholders in eliminating child labor in supply chains.
“We have always been committed to continuously raise awareness on the plight of child laborers through our advocacy and interventions to ensure that they would no longer be compelled to work and instead focus with their studies because we believe every child deserves to enjoy their youthful lives and have access to education instead of being situated at hazardous workplaces at a young age,“ Dione said.
Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Maylene Evangelista, who is Central Luzon’s Child Labor Program focal person, reminded parents of their role in raising their children.
“Parents should work to support and provide the needs of their children and not the other way around. Let us continue to strive for the betterment of our children because they deserve the right to live freely as children,” Evangelista said.
In Abucay, 61 parents from 5 barangays gathered at the Abucay Training and Livelihood Center to learn about child labor laws and other related issuances for children.
DOLE Bataan Field Office head Leilani Reynoso provided a lecture on Republic Act (RA) 9231, otherwise known as the “Special Protection of Children from Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.”
“Every child has a right, no matter who they are or where they live. We urge our parents to always secure the safety of their children, especially from those who take advantage by exploiting them in hazardous workplaces and environments. Our advocacy is to end child labor in the supply chain. This is not only government’s business but the business of everyone as well,” Reynoso said.
Labor and Employment Officer Eian Geoffrey Cruz, on the other hand, provided a lecture on RA 9208, otherwise known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.”
“RA 9208 specifically criminalizes trafficking for the purpose of exploitation. The punishable acts include trafficking under the guise of arranged marriage, adoption, sex tourism, prostitution, pornography, or even recruitment of children in hazardous workplaces or armed conflicts,” Cruz explained.
Meanwhile, 104 parents from 7 barangays in Mariveles gathered at the town’s Sangguniang Bayan Hall to be educated on the country’s current child labor situationer.
Like in Abucay, Labor and Employment Officers Arah Sumang and Domingo Jimenez of the DOLE Bataan Field Office, respectively provided the same lecture on RAs 9231 and 9208.
Senior Labor and Employment Officers Emily Romero and Joselito Diego, for their part, explained the significant role of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC).
Aside from the orientation, educational supplies were handed out to participating parents to encourage their children to study hard and continue pursuing their dreams.
To conclude both events, participants and other stakeholders were tasked to make an extensive Action Plan and Schedule on Anti-Child Labor activities to be undertaken this year.
The DOLE vows to continue to raise the awareness on child labor by creating a network of social partners that work towards the prevention and progressive elimination of child labor.
END/Jerry Borja with reporting from Arah Sumang