Labor office vows closure of firms hiring child laborers-A A +A
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) vowed to close establishments, especially bars, employing child laborers who are forced to perform lewd acts and are exposed to prostitution.
Lawyer Johnson Cañete, regional director of Dole-Northern Mindanao, told reporters during the nationwide launching of a child-labor free country on Tuesday that the agency is committed to reduce, if not totally eliminate, all forms of child labor, especially when children are forced to work in bars and similar establishments.
Cañete, however, said there is no record yet of establishments in Cagayan de Oro and other neighboring cities that have already been closed before his assumption as head of Dole’s regional office in January this year.
Under Republic Act 9231 or an “Act providing the elimination of the worst forms of child labor and affording stronger protection for the working child,” children below 15 years old are prohibited from working in any job which exposes them to prostitution and other pornographic performances.
Included in the provision of the said law are the working hours of children that should not be done between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. of the following day.
Caught violating the law will face a jail term of 20 years and will be subjected to a fine of between P100,000 to P1 million.
The law also imposes maximum penalty or imprisonment for parents or legal guardians.
According to Cañete, the establishment caught engaging in obscene or lewd shows or into prostitution will be immediately padlocked without necessary notice.
Statistics show that Northern Mindanao ranked fifth in the country with the most number of children who are identified as child laborers, with Bukidnon as the highest in rank with a number of children employed in sugarcane plantations.
Based on the 2001 National Statistics survey, four million children were already economically active in the country with 2.8 million in the rural and 1.21 million in the urban communities.
Rodrigo Deloso, head of the Western Provincial Field Office in Misamis Oriental, said 52 percent of the total number of child laborers comes from the agriculture sector. (Abigail Chee Kee Malalis)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 27, 2012.