By Jun Marcos Tadios, October 20, 2022; Manila Bulletin

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is targeting to reduce child labor practices in the country by 30 percent this year.

In a statement, DOLE said it is part of the national government’s campaign to eradicate child labor through various programs and projects.

The DOLE Region 4-A for instance, through its Cavite Provincial Office (DOLE-CPO), has concluded a three-day Planning Workshop on Cavite Development Plan for Children (CDPC) on Sept. 14 to 16.

It said this aimed to put fruition of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 intended to lower the cases of child labor in the country.

The workshop was focused on representing the four rights of children – Survival, Development, Protection, and Participation, according to Ma. Angelique Espiritu Yaun, DOLE CPO Senior Labor and Employment Officer and Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP) focal person.

Participants were also tasked to identify the medium and long-term goals to refrain children from engaging in the labor market.

Alongside Yaun were community facilitators, Dianne G. Digma and Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD) Officer Felipa G. Servañez.

In her welcome statement, Servañez emphasized that the goal of the workshop is to come up with a Provincial Development Plan for Children (PDPC) that will be finalized and endorsed for approval of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Cavite next month.

Meanwhile, Cavite Provincial Administrator of Community Affairs Alvin S. Mojica and Board Member Romel Enriquez also shared inspirational messages on behalf of the Provincial Governor of Cavite.

Mojica expressed gratitude to all council members who attended the activity for their assistance and valuable input in implementing the different programs and services for the Caviteño children.

Agreed during the workshop is the drafting of the PDPC, discussion on newly enacted laws, and spearheading of the Local Development Plan for Children (LDPC); Local Investment Plan for Children (LIPC); Local Code for Children (LCC); and Local State of the Children Report (LSCR).

The PCPC aims to provide survival, development, protection, and participation of children in the province, more likely from the vulnerable and disadvantaged sector.

Labor Secretary Buenvenido Laguesma urged labor officials across the county to prioritize the elimination of child labor in the Philippines.

Laguesma also slated before the House of Representatives (HOR) the aligned programs in battling child labor in the country, which includes implementation of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) that aims to transform the lives of child laborers, their families and communities through protection, withdrawal, reintegration into a caring society, and poverty reduction measures.

“I am delighted to share that the issue of eradicating child labor is among our priority programs,” said Laguesma in his report to the HOR.

The labor department is the lead agency to hold the National Council Against Child Labor (NCACL), tasked to boost the government’s 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.