Catbalogan pays out educational assistance to child laborers

177 child laborers in Catbalogan City were the beneficiaries that were provided educational assistance amounting to P1,000.00 each.

Beneficiaries were identified through a survey conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on who are engaged in child labor and survey was validated by Catbalogan City Social Welfare & Development Office (CSWDO) if said child laborers are currently enrolled in school.

According to Article 137 of the Labor Code, “No child below fifteen (15) years of age shall be employed, except when he works directly under the sole responsibility of his parents or guardian, and his employment does not in any way interfere with his schooling.”

Furthermore under the same law, “Any person between fifteen (15) and eighteen (18) years of age may be employed for such number of hours and such periods of the day as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in appropriate regulations.”

Republic Act No. 7610, as amended, otherwise known as the “Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” was signed into law on 19 December 2013 provides for special protection to children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination, and other conditions prejudicial to their development including child labor and its worst forms.

The payout of the said educational assistance was coincided with the anniversary of DOLE last December 08, 2020 as part of their Project Angel Tree, which is a component of the DOLE Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program that provides an array of social services that range from food, clothing, educational assistance or school supplies, and even work and training opportunities made available by sponsors or benefactors (‘angels’) to child laborers and their families.

Following after the turn-over of educational assistance, the CSWDO will conduct an assessment on future possible programs to their families such as livelihood assistance in partnership with DOLE.

Ultimately, the main objective is to have a child labor free community on various fronts such as Child Labor Free Establishments that promotes compliant and socially responsible business practices, and Child Labor Free Barangays, which aims to free identified barangays from child labor, and also to influence change, identify allies, and solicit commitments of support of stakeholders.

And this is greatly supported in Catbalogan City through City Mayor Dexter Uy under his administration.

(Photos by Sandy Palomas; Report by Ador Hurtado)


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