The Council for the Welfare of Children invited the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) in its writeshop initiative on the “Regional Situational Analysis on Children” on August 22-26, 2022 in Lucena City, Quezon Province.

The five-day activity was a collaboration of various National Government Agencies with stake on children’s interests and the promotion of their well-being.

Aside from NCR, other Regional Councils for the Welfare of Children from CALABARZON (Region IV-A), MIMAROPA (Region V-B), and Bicol Region (Region V) were also present, including other government agencies such as the National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Bantay Bata (non-government organization) to ensure representation of concerned agencies.

Senior labor officer and regional focal on child labor, Mr. Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes from the Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division represented DOLE-NCR.

The DOLE-NCR representative identified the over-arching objective of the program, which is to alleviate the condition of the child laborers from their hazardous undertakings and provide economic assistance to their parents to ensure their removal from child labor. He also discussed measures on realizing said objective through a comprehensive approach of mainstreaming the initiative through sectoral empowerment and inclusion of the children’s parents.

The labor officer also stressed the difference of child labor prevalence in NCR by presenting the region’s labor market profile wherein most of the identified key employment generators are in the Services Sector. He added that most of the activities of the children are in response to the economic opportunities related to the employment generators and encouraged the attendees to be vigilant as regard activities of the child laborers. Further, he also presented NCR’s peculiar situation as most of the identified children in hazardous work are attending school unlike in other regions where agriculture is the dominant economic activity of most families.

Delos Reyes also said that allowing children to such hazardous activities will only promote a culture of dependency on children and will ultimately result in a less productive and unprepared workforce of the future. This was supported by the representatives of other agencies, citing the hazardous undertakings’ impact on health, education and general well-being of children.

Presenting a clear view of the child labor incidence, Delos Reyes also discussed the labor department’s structures and measures to address child labor concerns such as the Sagip Batang Manggagawa, Project Angel Tree, and livelihood intervention for the parents of child laborers. He also presented the inter-agency bodies that concerns children of which DOLE-NCR is a member such as the Regional Inter-Agency on Filipino Family, Regional Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking – Violence Against Women and their Children – Anti-Child Pornography, and 4Ps Regional Advisory Council, among others.

As the report aims to present the region’s situation, other government agency representatives provided relevant information on child protection and promotion of rights, empowerment, and participation of the different duty-bearers and stakeholders.

END / Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes