THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) targets to “rescue” more than 600,000 child laborers by 2022 and bring them back to school.
In a Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Labor Undersecretary Joji Aragon said that there were two million child laborers in the country in 2011.
“Ang child labor po ay isang problema na dapat nating harapin; ‘yung estimate nga po na ibinigay ng International Labor Organization noong 2011, dahil hindi pa po tayo nakapagpagawa ulit sa Philippine Statistics (Authority) office ng panibagong survey, ay around two million,” she said.
Aragon said that by 2022, the Labor Department aims to remove at least 650,000 children from labor under the Philippine Development Plan.
“What is most important is by 2022, ang commitment po ng council, at alam po nating matutugunan nila ito, we would have already taken out or extracted some 650,000 child laborers from the pool of existing child labor,” she said.
She added that DOLE has been able to help 250,000 children and brought them back to school while their parents were provided with livelihood.
In his fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona), President Rodrigo Duterte promised to “prevent, reduce, and eliminate any form of child labor.”
Duterte in September last year issued Executive Order (EO) no. 92, creating the National Council Against Child Labor.
The EO 92 seeks to strengthen Republic Act (RA) NO.7610, which provides stronger deterrence and special protection against child abuse, exploitation and discrimination. (Jove Moya/SunStar Philippines)