Issue of December 1, 2019
     
NEWS
Benguet
Ifugao
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 
 
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DOLE-Ifugao finds ways to improve child labor program
by Daniel B. Codamon / PIA

LAGAWE, Ifugao – The Department of Labor and Employment field office conducted a mid-semester assessment on its child labor profiling project to determine the progress in each of the municipalities and to come up with ways to improve child labor program advocacy and activities.

Interns hired last July under the agency’s government internship program were able to profile 640 child laborers for the entire province.

Alfonso Lista has the highest number of child laborers with 213, followed by Banaue with 87, Kiangan with 73, Tinoc with 51, Hingyon with 50, Asipulo with 48, Lagawe with 38, Aguinaldo and Lamut with 24 each, Hungduan with 14 and Mayoyao with nine.

The interns shared that  their duties and functions in the local government units they were assigned include serving as administrative assistants, linkage builder/coordinator and networker in the identification of child laborers, conducting home, school and community visits as a field worker, child labor enumerator, character builder, information gatekeeper  and educator.

The interns also presented the problems they encountered while doing their work such as insufficient transportation allowance especially when destination is a far-flung area, absence of protective suits especially during the rainy days.

There are also some parents and barangay officials who are hesitant to give information about child laborers thereby prolonging data gathering.

The interns recommend that child labor profiling for 2020 should start at the first quarter of the year to avoid inconveniences during the rainy season; hiring of interns should be on a casual or project-based until 2022; and the community facilitator hired should be increased to two considering the magnitude of the child laborers to be profiled.

Interns should also develop techniques and strategies in child labor profiling by doing aggressive home and community profiling and validation, develop a functional collaborative working relationship with other stakeholders, attend child labor program orientation, conduct child labor advocacy and fora, provide information and education materials on child labor and briefing kits.

The DOLE is the lead agency in the implementation of the Philippines Against Child Labor pursuant to Republic Act 9231 that shall provide protection to children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination and other conditions prejudicial to their development including child labor in its worst form and aims to protect and rehabilitate children gravely threatened by circumstances which affect their survival and normal development over which they have no control.

The DOLE targets to profile 630,000 children in the entire country to be removed from child labor by 2022 which is 30 percent of the 2.1 million children engaged in child labor based on the 2011 survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

 
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