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PIA Press Release
2009/10/09

"Sagip Batang Manggagawa" reactivated in Zambo Norte

Dipolog City (9 October) -- To protect the children against child labor, the "Sagip Batang Manggagawa" Quick Action Team (SBM-QAT) for Zamboanga del Norte has recently been reactivated in a meeting called by District Officer Vicente Sumalpong of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Sumalpong pushed for the reactivation of SBM-QAT in the province following reports that "many children were recruited for employment under extremely hazardous and exploitative conditions including prostitution."

"Sometimes Dipolog has served as transshipment point for children trafficked from neighboring provinces to major cities in the country to work in domestic service, industries, plantations and sex trade," Sumalpong disclosed.

Child labor refers to the illegal employment of children where they are not directly under the sole responsibility of their parents, endangering their life, safety and health.

Every child under 18 years old has the right to the most basic necessities in life like a healthy environment and formal education.

It can be recalled that some years back Dapitan City figured in national television and papers for the minors working as laborers at Pulauan port.

In some places, minors work on sugarcane, coconut and rice plantations, pyrotechnics production, deep-sea fishing, mining and quarrying.

Zamboanga del Norte SBM-QAT is composed of DOLE, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepED), Department of Justice (DOJ), National Bureau if Investigation (NBI), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), Association of Barangay Captains (ABC), Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWD), provincial and city health offices, local government units, a transport group, a labor group and a non-government organization. (PIA-ZN) [top]

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