DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz together with DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balicasan, DSWD Undersecretary Camilo Gudmalin, DA Undersecretary Emerson Palad, DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero, DOH Director Mario Baquilod, DOJ Assistant Secretary Monica Pagunsan, TESDA Executive Director Marissa G. Legaspi, CWC Executive Director Particia Luna, and NCIP Chairperson Leonor Oralde-Quintayo signed the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on Guidelines on the Implementation of the HELP ME Convergence Program to Address Child Labor last January 7, 2016 at the NEDA, Pasig City.
The JMC aims to provide policy guidelines and procedures in the implementation of the HELP ME Convergence Program to Address Child Labor. Also, this serves as the basis of engagement in the convergence of programs and services of partner government agencies.
The DOLE and the DSWD, in cooperation with other agencies such as the DepEd, DOH, DILG, and DOJ worked closely in the development of the HELP ME Convergence Program where H stands for health, nutrition and medical services; E for education and training; L for livelihood opportunities to parents of child laborers; P for prevention, protection, and prosecution; M for monitoring; and E for evaluation.
Priority areas for convergence are the barangays identified by the DOLE and partner agencies to be transformed as child labor-free.
“The good news about the Program is that it caught the attention of the United States Department of Labor (USDOL). For three (3) consecutive years since 2012, the Philippines has been cited by the US DOL as having gained significant advancement in its efforts in eliminating the worst forms of child labor, the only Asia-Pacific country which achieved this in its Report on the Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor”, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz remarked. She also stressed that the recognition presented our convergence program as a good practice in reducing child labor at the community level.