Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium, Manila — On June 17, 2017, the National Child Labor Committee Organized a concert for this year’s WDACL celebration. The WDACL is being celebrated annually to bring the attention of the public to the problem of child labor and as solidarity with the global community in the anti-child labor campaign.
The theme of the 2017 WDACL is “Sa armadong tunggalian, sakuna o bagyo, iligtas ang bata sa trabahong mapang-abuso” or “In conflicts and disasters, protect children from child labour”. In this regard, Josh Cezar Serilo, Sectoral Representative of the National Anti-Poverty Commission–Children Basic Sector (NAPC-CBS) stated, “With the recent string of events unfolding in the last few months-- with the incident in Marawi, the bombings and all those terrorist attacks, we in the NAPC CBS believe that children have the utmost right to protection. We do not deserve these kinds of incidents or situations because we need to properly survive and be nurtured as the future of our nation”. Mr. Serilo added, “I believe that the protection of children must not be forgotten in this World Day Against Child Labor. With these disasters and tragedies, children must not be used in attaining the objectives of every heinous, terrorist people that are trying to undermine the weakness of children. We must protect the children”.
The Himig at Tula para sa Isang Milyong Batang Malaya concert featured music, dance, poetry and other artistic performances to render its advocacy thru channels that are both appreciated by the youth and very Filipino in nature. “Ang paraan ng himig at tula ay napakagandang paraan para maipaabot sa mga mamamayan na kailangan arugain, suportahan at tulungan ang mga bata sa halip na maging bahagi sila sa mahihirap na trabaho”, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said in her message.
The concert was packed with performances from various groups such as the BWSC Chorale, ERDA SaBaNa, Laura Vicuña Foundation, Kaugmaon Foundation, Institute for Labor Studies, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Kontra-GaPi, dabigdyul and da behs, and Undersecretary Aiza Seguerra of the National Youth Commission. Around 1,160 participants consisting of the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) members and other partners under the Philippine Program Against Child Labor from government, civil society organizations, workers’ organizations, employers’ group, international social development organizations and private sector, children who are former child laborers and are under the care of civil society organizations, youth leaders, other stakeholders, and media joined the celebration. A roundtable discussion cum press conference, and dance and art workshop for child laborers were also held prior to the concert as part of the WDACL celebration for this year.
“Samahan ninyo kami sa ating sama-samang pagkilos upang mapuksa ang child labor. Magkaisa tayong lahat na alisin ang isang milyong bata mula sa child labor hanggang taong 2025 tungo sa inaasam natin na Child Labor-Free Philippines”, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III urged in conclusion to the event.
Secretary Bello also sent his gratitude to the organizers for staging such activity, “Mula sa Department of Labor and Employment, lubos kaming nagpapasalamat sa inyo na tumulong sa pag-organisa ng Himig at Tula para sa Isang Milyong Batang Malaya Concert ngayon. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng ating social partners sa ilalim ng Philippine Program Against Child Labor, lalo na sa mga miyembro ng NCLC na walang sawang sumusuporta sa ating adhikaing mapalaya ang mga bata mula sa child labor”.