“This year's WDACL sa Pilipinas celebration is an attempt to involve children themselves in advocating against child labor,” Julius Cainglet, Chairperson of the Knowledge Management Sub-Committee, and the Chair of the WDACL Working Committee said. This is because “classmates and teachers are front liners when it comes to making them stay in school. Peers can positively influence and inspire one another on the virtues of education, while teachers can go the extra mile by monitoring their students to the extent of doing home visits.”
As such, two of the three scheduled activities on WDACL are Batang Malaya Quiz Bee and Sabayang Pagbigkas Para sa Batang Malaya are organized for high school students. These are “aimed at raising the consciousness of high school students and teachers on child labor. Many child laborers start the school year in school but dropout along the way,” Cainglet added.
Schools located in the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions III and IVA were invited to join the said competitions. As of the latest count, there are 34 schools that joined the contest. About 40 teams will compete on the Batang Malaya Quiz Be, and 20 schools will compete on the Sabayang Pagbigkas Para Sa Batang Malaya.
A Kapihan/open forum is also scheduled after the opening ceremonies, with DOLE’s Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro and International Labor Organization (ILO) Country Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson are the invited guest speakers.
The current situation of child labor in the country, and the gaps between the child labor laws and the new basic education laws will be discussed, as well as the need to institutionalize the NCLC, by way of amendment to RA 9231 or by an executive order. Cainglet added that currently, “NCLC that leads and coordinates efforts to address child labor, is working on a limited mandate through a Memorandum of Agreement between and among concerned government agencies and social partners, such as Federation of Free Workers (FFW).
“The NCLC needs more resources, more teeth and greater ability to focus on child labor prevention, rescue and reintegration,” Cainglet said.
END | PIA