Child labor in the Phl


In search of scraps in the dump site

The alarming child labor in the country is not only for the information of the general public, but most especially for the Catholic Church hierarchy in the Philippines, which, in this instant, is disdainfully silent about the subject.

A 2011 Survey on Children of the National Statistics Office (NSO), supported by the International Labor Organization (ILO), has shown that some 5.5 million Filipino children, or about 18.93 per cent of all those aged between 5 to 17 years, are child laborers.

According to statistics, 10 years ago, there were recorded 4.2 million child laborers, thereby indicating an increase of almost 10 percent from 2001 to 2011.

Digging in search for gold

In the same poll, it was found out also that the number of children engaged in hazardous work increased by 25 percent from 2.4 million in 2001 to 3 million 2011. Hazardous labor are those that entails working in mines, factories and on the streets, where they were exposed to dangerous substances and unsafe conditions.

The same survey revealed that farms are the most common place of work (55.4 percent) of children. Some 12 percent work in their own homes as a part of a family enterprise. Those working in the streets and working at sea, similarly, account for 9 percent of where working children are found.

“We have to get to the root of child labor which is linked with poverty and lack of decent and productive work. While we strive to keep children in school and away from child labor, we need to ensure decent and productive work for parents and basic social protection for families,” said Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Country Office for the Philippines.

On her part, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz  said that, “We should see to it that parents have enough income that they would not withdraw their children from school.”

But how, for heavens sake, could the poor and less educated parents ever have an adequate income when they have more than enough mouths to feed in the family? Could they have an option to choose to make both ends meet and improve their lot?

Of course there is!

On the street for alms

While it is commendable that government has launched “The Batang Malaya: Child Labor Free Philippines” which aims to end worst forms of child labor by 2016, what is of prime importance is the immediate enactment by the 15th congress of the Reproductive Health Bill (RH bill) or what we would like to call as Responsible Parenthood Bill (RP Bill), which aims to uplift the reproductive health standards of the Filipino community by giving them the rights to avail a wide range of reproductive health services throughout the country. It also aims to enable couples to practice reproductive spacing along with due consideration to the availability of resources that can be availed.

Unfortunately, the bill is controversial, as it is being opposed by concerned citizens, especially the pro-life, pro-family and pro-God groups, all backed by the powerful Roman Catholic Church.

4 comments on “Child labor in the Phl

  1. wilfred basquial says:

    when you read this, (follow link) would you agree they are really a pro-life group?

    • wilfred basquial says:

      here is another link you should read that proves they are pro death or anti life:

    • quierosaber says:

      My only question to those against the RH bill – those perceived to be pro-life and the priests is: Are you guys blind? It is one thing to practice religion, but certainly it is another thing being unmindful and oblivious of the realities going on where the poorest sector of our society could barely eat 3 meals a day and has more children than they ought to have. Why ignore pleas of poor women – the very people that knows better when enough is enough, when bearing a child, – and make them feel guilty just because it is against the religious belief of the church? The RH bill or the responsible parenthood bill is an educational tool in itself, especially to the inadequately schooled, so why rob them of the opportunity to learn and make their lives and that of their children even more miserable?

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