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PIA Press Release

Correct mentality needed to stop child labor, says ILO

by RG Alama

Davao City (15 June) -- "May mga mentality ang ibang parents na mag-anak ng marami para may mautusan." (there is a mentality among some parents to bear more children so that many can be goaded to do labor) this according to Vic Magallanes, coordinator International Labor Organization-International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO-IPEC).

Magallanes said that this mentality is especially common among agricultural areas. "Some parents will just tell their children not to go to school anymore and just help them n their chores."

He said this is the reason why child laborers are often called "silent laborers." They are not reflected in the company's payroll, the children are hired indirectly through their parents. In agri-areas where the pakyaw system is prevalent, child labor is common as children help the parents in the pakyaw.

During last June12 celebration of World's Day against Child Labor, the theme was anchored on freeing agriculture from the reins of child labor. According to figures by the ILO-IPEC about 4 million children in the country or about 1 out of 7 children are working. About 53% of these child laborers are employed in the agricultural sector and are considered as the lowest-paid workers in the commercial farms and plantations.

According to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI Regional Director Ponciano Libuton, the concern of child labor is a concern of all and not just the sole responsibility of DOLE or the Philippine Government.

"If we cannot provide good and quality education, if the atmosphere is not conducive for investments to come or enhancing productivity, then we will have a hard time stopping Child Labor," Libuton said. (PIA XI) [top]

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