Issue of November 24, 2019
Mt. Province
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City, agencies mandated to be on guard against child labor
by Jessa Mardy P. Samidan / PIO

President Rodrigo Duterte directed the city government of Baguio together with several national line agencies to monitor and report child labor cases.

The directive is in line with the objectives under the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 for a “child labor-free Philippines” as well as to achieve the goals specified in Executive Order 92, which institutionalized the National Council Against Child Labor (NCACL) to upscale the implementation of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL).

It also directs the creation of Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCCP) where incidents of child labor shall be reported.

Prior to the receipt of the directive, Mayor Benjamin Magalong has already issued Executive Order 139, s. 2019 that reconstituted the City Council for the Protection of Children (CCPC) in Baguio, citing Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination; Presidential Decree 603 or the Children and Youth Welfare Code; Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act; and Articles 359 and 360 of the Civil Code calling for the establishment of councils for the protection of children.

The mayor chairs the CCPC with Councilor Lilia Fariñas as the co-chairperson being the head of the city council committee on women, urban poor, and social services together with Claire Gina Henderson, executive director of Helping Hands and Healing Hearts Ministries, while the City Social Welfare and Development Office was designated as secretariat.

Reports on child labor shall be received by the CSWDO, being the lead agency for the Protection Committee of the CCPC.

In the 2018 data of the Department of Labor and Employment, there were around 2,000 child laborers or “children at risk” profiled in the Cordillera.

Of the number, Baguio and Benguet has the highest with 495 followed by 341 each in Abra and Kalinga; 312 in Apayao and Mountain Province, respectively while Ifugao has 126 child laborers with age ranging from five to 17 years old.

RA 7610 defines child labor as “any work or economic activity performed by a child that subjects him/her to any form of exploitation or is harmful to his/her health and safety or physical, mental, or psycho-social development.”

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