DOLE eyes to free 630K kids from child labor by 2022

By Ferdinand Patinio

February 10, 2021, 7:42 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday vowed relentless efforts to achieve its goal of freeing over 600,000 children from child labor by next year.

“We are hopeful to achieve the target of 630,000 with the signing of Executive Order 92 which scaling up the efforts of the committee. There is a provision that says that the member agencies are to provide funds for child labor,” lawyer Karen Trayvilla, director of the DOLE's Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, said in a virtual forum.

She said the 630,000 figure is the commitment under the Philippine Development Plan 2017 to 2022.

At the same time, Trayvilla reported that of the number, they have profiled 266,873 child laborers from 2018 to 2020, before the enhanced community quarantine was implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“So this 630,000 is our commitment until 2022. But we already profiled 266,873 child laborers. This means that almost half are now in our database,” she said. “So we will work double time since 2022 is fast approaching. Right now, we will start with the profiling again with the easing of the restrictions in our mobility.”

She also reported that over 56,000 children have been freed from child labor.

“We only have 56,276. Why is that? The withdrawal involves a long process. It takes us two years to do that. You need to focus on providing the services to the child, in the intervention and then you monitor and monitor until such time that you can see that he has withdrawn. Based on our data 56,276 children have been withdrawn from being a child laborer,” Trayvilla said.

Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in September 2019, Executive Order 92 provides for the creation of the National Council Against Child Labor aimed at establishing mechanisms and measures that will contribute to the "prevention, reduction and elimination of any form of child labor".

The council is chaired by the DOLE and co-chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (PNA)