Eliminating child labor remains a top priority for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
In a message, Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma said DOLE presented to Congress its priority projects and programs, and eradicating child labor is among the department’s priority programs.
“I have recently appeared before Congress to present the projects and programs that the department would like to focus our attention and funds on. I am delighted to share that the issue of eradicating child labor is among our priority programs),” Laguesma said.
Laguesma’s message was delivered by DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay during the 3rd Anniversary Celebration of the Institutionalization of the National Council against Child Labor (NCACL) on September 15 in Manila.
The DOLE-Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns leads the implementation of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL), which aims to transform the lives of child laborers, their families, and communities through protection, withdrawal, reintegration into a caring society, and poverty reduction measures.
According to the International Labour Organization, poverty remains a strong force driving children into the workplace.
In the same event, representatives from different government agencies, non-government organizations, civil society, and advocacy groups also received certificates of recognition as NCACL members and social partners.
To sustain NCACL gains since its institutionalization in 2019, Laguesma also requested continued support from all stakeholders to facilitate the realization of a child-labor-free Philippines.
Meanwhile, members of the NCACL also convened in a workshop to assess the PPACL Strategic Framework 2020-2022 and recommend new measures to address implementation gaps of existing child labor programs. Outcomes of the three-day assessment workshop will serve as inputs to craft the PPACL Framework for the next six years.
DOLE chairs the NCACL—the interagency council tasked to boost government efforts for child rights protection, strengthen institutional mechanisms, and establish measures to prevent, reduce, and ultimately eliminate all forms of child labor in the Philippines.