Sunday Essays: How could this be?

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

IT WAS 11:30 in the morning when I was awakened by a call. From that time on after the call was made, I was in a hurry to buy a newspaper for our assignment. I barely have any idea where I could buy one because way back when I was in grade school we usually get a newspaper delivery. But as technology evolved, my dad stopped from ordering newspapers to limit our expenses.

So I get to ask my friends on twitter asking them where I could buy a newspaper here in our place. Luckily, my classmate told me to check at the Convenience Store. So by that time I immediately went to the store and fortunately bought Sun.Star Davao.

I was wondering what news could have been in it and what story would I be tackling in with this homework. So by the time I got home, I ate my lunch and started reading the newspaper.

There were a lot of stories involved but one of it really made a mark in me. That story was entitled, “Child Labor up in Yolanda areas.”

From the title itself, it made me think of what kind of child labor had Yolanda generated. Like we all know, typhoon Yolanda brought suffering for those affected by it.

Children are involved in labor that they shouldn’t be, the story reads. These children aged 5-17 are involved in hazardous work.

Children of these ages should be doing schoolwork, and not working. Come to think of it, we may say it’s their way to survive in order to buy food for their family, but these children are too young to be earning a living. And having read in the story that some are working in farms, as household workers, vendors, construction workers, fishermen, scrap collectors or pedicab drivers, can’t help but ask, “Is this their own choice? Or are they forced by their parents to work?”

The 2011 data showed that nationally 5.4 million out of 29 million Filipino children were working, the story said. Imagine having a population of 5.4 million Filipino children aged from 5-17 working?

It really tore at my heart. For them, the typhoon placed them in a dilemma that is now forcing them to work. They don’t deserve that kind of life.

Children should be well educated in schools and not suffer in hazardous jobs. Their hands should be holding a pen or a pencil and should be sitting in class, they should be happy playing and mingling with other children and they should be educated about our society and how to deal with society’s anxiety.

This story simply tells each and every one of us, whether young or old, rich or poor, that our world is facing a lot of problems. Problems of the adults are now faced by children. This only shows that we must be more aware and be more protective of our environment.

We can’t blame anyone for this. We are the ones making our choices, we are the ones shaping our world, and we are the ones who will build the future for these children. (Carly Jane L. Chua)

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Sunday Essays are articles written by students of Ateneo de Davao University for their journalism class under Gemima Valderrama.

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