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Quezon City, CDO LGU cite best practices vs child labor, exploitation

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--The local government units of Quezon City and Cagayan de Oro City exchanged best practices in their combat against child labor and exploitation in a three-day Project Against Child Exploitation (ACE) Regional Partners Review and Assessment, March 29–31, at Chali Beach Resort, Cagayan de Oro City.

The World Vision Development Foundation Inc., organizer and implementer of Project Against Child Exploitation (ACE), has come up with three major outcomes: to help the government in law enforcement, strengthen services for the children, and solidify partnership between national government agencies and local government units.

Based on a released survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), among the 17 regions, northern Mindanao had the largest share of the country’s child laborers.

In 2020, there were 13 (13.1%) child laborers from northern Mindanao for every 100 child laborers nationwide. The Bicol Region came in second with about 9 (9.2%). With 1.6 percent, the Cordillera Administrative Region had the lowest proportion of child laborers in 2020. The NCR came in second with 1.9 percent, and the Davao Region came in third with 2.2 percent.

Daphne DG Culanag, World Vision Project ACE director, shared that in 2021, there was a 2% increase in child labor in the country.

According to a study by the International Justice Mission, the Philippines is a hub for online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OASEC), she said.

"Ang Pilipinas ay hotspot ng OSAEC sa buong mundo kasi mahusay tayong mag-English, at mahusay sa gadgets ang mga bata. Nakakalungkot kaya dapat patuloy tayo mag work together," she shared.

(The Philippines is a hotspot in OSAEC in the whole world because we are good in English and children are good at using gadgets. It is so sad, and that is why we should continue to work together)

She also advised parents to not use their children to earn money. This is wrong and must be changed, she reiterated.

In Cagayan de Oro City, from 2018 to 2022, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) profiled 11,000 child laborers. In 2022, 3,625 child laborers were profiled from the different 80 barangays.

DOLE-10 Cagayan de Oro Field Office (CDOFO) Provincial Director Emmanuel G. Toledo shared that poverty is the primary reason for the existence of child labor in CDO.

"In fact, ang among nakita and analysis of the data, ang kadaghanan nga atong na profile nga child laborers naa sa hinterland barangays like Tumpagon. We have two hinterland barangays nga almost 300 ka child laborers per barangay atong nakita. These child laborers are engaged in farming and mining," he said.

(In fact, based on what we saw and our analysis of the data, most of the profiled child laborers are in the hinterland barangays like Tumpagon. We have two hinterland barangays with almost 300 child laborers per barangay. These child laborers are engaged in farming and mining)

Change should be holistic, Toledo said.

Parents need to be taught about the law on child labor all the time. This is why it is important to keep educating parents. Second, the government must address the economic needs of these families, the parents of child laborers, the director said.

"We are very proud that we can say we are a child friendly city, but that we also aim that Cagayan de Oro is a child labor free city," he said. (JMOR/PIA-10)

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Jasper Marie Rucat

Regional Editor

Region 10

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