Nearly 340k child workers get aid from DOLE amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published by rudy Date posted on December 27, 2020

By Susan G. De Leon, 27 Dec 2020

CALOOCAN CITY, Dec. 27 (PIA) — Citing the agency’s mandate under Republic Act No. 9231 or the Special Protection of Children against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, the Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE) said they were able to assist close to 340,000 minors, along with their families, in an intensified implementation of the government’s child labor prevention and elimination program amid the Covid 19 pandemic.

According to DOLE, children and young workers are considered among the most vulnerable as the health crisis persist to affect the livelihood of mostly poor families in urban and rural areas.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said given the government restrictions to contain the spread of the virus, the labor department profiled around 274,924 child laborers.

On top of this figure, he said, about 293,318 were referred for assistance while more than 47,000 were removed from child labor.

“Along with our campaign to protect the vulnerable workers, we also stepped up our efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor,” Bello said.

He noted that the pandemic has drawn children of poor families into some worst forms of child labor.

“This is indeed unfortunate. This is why we had to work doubly hard to arrest the situation,” the labor chief added.

The DOLE child labor prevention and elimination program consists of Project Angel Tree which provides an array of social services for the child laborers and their families, and the H.E.L.P. M.E. program, which stands for health services and medical assistance; education and training; livelihood opportunities to parents of child laborers; prevention, protection, and prosecution; monitoring; and evaluation.

The labor department also implements the Child Labor-Free Establishments, Sagip Batang Manggagawa, and Philippine Program against Child Labor. (DOLE/PIA-NCR)

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