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The Philippines joined the observance of the World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) in a whole-day celebration on June 23, 2018 at San Andres Sports Complex, San Andres St., Malate, Manila. The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), chaired by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), led the conduct of the said activity.

This year’s celebration was anchored on the theme: Ligtas sa Paggawa, Malusog na Batang Malaya. It is in line with the global theme for 2018: Generation Safety and Health which focuses on children in hazardous work and highlights the critical importance of removing children from all forms of child labor, including hazardous work, and ensuring their access to quality education.

“Inilunsad ang kampanya para sa Isang Milyong Batang Malaya bilang ambag ng Pilipinas sa pagkamit ng Target 8.7 ng Sustainable Development Goals na hangarin wakasan ang lahat ng uri ng child labor pagdating ng taong 2025. Dahil dito, layunin natin na alisin ang 630,000 na mga bata mula sa pagiging child laborers simula taong 2017 hanggang taong 2022”, said DOLE Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod during the opening ceremony.

Around 1,000 participants came including the partners of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor and the 500 child laborers from Manila, Pasay, Caloocan, and Navotas who became the beneficiaries of the DOLE’s Project Angel Tree.

Project Angel Tree is a component of the DOLE’s Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program that provides an array of social services (e.g. food, clothing, educational assistance/school supplies, and work/training opportunities) provided by sponsors or ‘angels’ to child laborers and their families. The said child laborers received school supplies and backpacks from the Federation of Filipino- Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).

Another highlight of the celebration was the storytelling of Si Elena at Ang Kanyang Mga Pangarap—a storybook on child labor. The storytelling was done by Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Isko Moreno.

A puppet show on Tatlong Biik, a Filipino adaptation of the classic tale Three Little Pigs, was also conducted along with a discussion on the WDACL 2018 Theme. Further, to make the information dissemination about child labor concerns entertaining, the NCLC also came up with interactive stations and special performances for the participants.

“Naniniwala ako na sa pamamagitan ng ganitong pagtitipon ay mas napapalaganap natin ang kamalayan ng iba’t-ibang sektor ng lipunan tungkol sa isyu ng child labor at ang masamang naidudulot nito sa mga bata. Nais natin na lahat ay makisali at gumawa ng aksyon upang mas mapag-ibayo pa ang pagsulong ng karapatan ng mga bata”, Undersecretary Maglunsod stated.

The celebration was sponsored by Congresswoman Crystal Bagatsing of the 5th District of Manila, the Family Welfare Committees Council of the Philippines, Local Government Unit of Manila, National Dairy Authority, Gardenia, and FFCCCII.

END/aicbucar/kcdiaz/arreyes

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