QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) calls on strengthening social protection programs for children and their families to reduce and eliminate child labor following the international observance of World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL).
The National Council Against Child Labor (NCACL), chaired by the DOLE and co-chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), spearheaded the local observance of WDACL in the Philippines with the theme “Karapatan at Kalagayan ng Batang Manggagawa: Sagipin, Tugunan, at Protektahan ng Bayan”.
“We call for collective efforts to respond to the needs of children and their families, and protect them through various programs,” DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said during the 2022 WDACL Culminating Activity on June 27, Monday.
Bello added that it is high time that we strengthen our social protection systems to help families become less vulnerable to shocks so that the children will not be forced to engage in child labor.
The DOLE has implemented Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program to profile child laborers, livelihood assistance programs, and other social services under the Project Angel Tree.
“Addressing child labor requires a whole-of-society approach that is why the participation and commitment of all sectors to child labor prevention and elimination is crucial,” the labor secretary said.
Meanwhile, International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office for the Philippines highlighted the importance of social protection in minimizing family vulnerability and poverty in reducing the key drivers of child labor.
“Families who are provided with social protection have better chances of recovery thus lessening the risk of their children being engaged in child labour,” ILO Country Office for the Philippines Senior Programme Officer Ma. Concepcion Sardaña stated in her message during the WDACL culminating activity.
Sardaña added that the Durban Call to Action emphasized commitment to scale up action towards universal access to social protection.
“So, for this year’s WDACL, ILO, together with its constituents and partners, is calling for increased investment in social protection systems and schemes,” she cited.
She added that social protection programs include access to comprehensive, adequate, sustainable, gender- and age-responsive, disability-inclusive social protection.
The ILO continues to support the Philippine government through DOLE and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to establish a social protection floor to guarantee the basic income security for children and older persons and to provide access to basic health care. (JMB/PIA-IDPD)