DAVAO CITY, Nov. 26 (PIA) – Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz unified with the partner agencies of the Department of Labor and Employment in Davao Region in upholding the crusade against child labor.
Baldoz recently witnessed the signing of a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) by DOLE and its partner government agencies that would strengthen the implementation of the Help Me Convergence Program that aims to address child labor in Davao Region.
The Help Me Convergence Program adopts the community-based approach and focused, converged and synchronized strategies in providing social services such as food, clothing, and education assistance among others.
Help Me stands for health services and medical assistance, education and training, livelihood opportunities to parents of child laborers, prevention, protection and prosecution, monitoring and evaluation.
In the recently-held 1st Regional Anti-Child Labor Summit and Children’s Festival where the Secretary was the guest of honor, joining DOLE in the fight against child labor include other government agencies such as DSWD, DOH, DILG, DepEd, DA, DOJ, TESDA, NEDA, CWC, PIA and NCIP.
Baldoz commended the convergence and initiatives in the region saying that this would be a big step to remove child laborers from hazardous and exploitative forms of work.
There is an estimate two million youth aged fifteen years old and below who are exposed in hazardous and risky works, she bared.
These children, she said, are mostly seen toiling as mining and quarry workers, deep sea fishers, household helps, farm workers and even as commercial sex workers.
“Hindi dapat ipagpatuloy ang ganitong klaseng trabaho para sa mga kabataan. Bigyan natin (sila) ng magandang kalusugan at edukasyon. Tulungan natin ang kanilang mga magulang (These kinds of work for children should not continue. Let’s give them better health and education. Let’s help their parents),” Baldoz urged the attendees of the summit and children’s festival held at SMX Lanang.
The problem on child labor is among the major concerns that DOLE is addressing through several programs that have been implemented in the entire country.
The Help Me Convergence Program in Davao Region which started in 2013 has already extended help to 332 parents of child laborers who have been provided livelihood assistance amounting to more than PhP2 million.
The program is pursuant to and aligned with Republic Act No. 9231 or an Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child.