[Photo from 105.9 Balita FM]
The continuing cases of child labor can be attributed to the feeble implementation of the children’s welfare laws, according to child rights organizations ACT for Children Alliance.
Child Alert Mindanao Executive Director Bernardo Mondragon expressed dismay for the failure to strictly implement provisions of the Comprehensive Children and Family Support System in Davao City otherwise known as Children’s Welfare Code since its passage in 1994.
“We have problems in the implementation of the laws. In fact, the Davao City Children’s Welfare Code has a provision for the prevention of child labor. We have also seen that some of the issues concerning children have solutions incorporated in the code,” said Mondragon.
Mondragon cited the building of the Special Office for the Children’s Concern which he said has not been realized for 12 years.
“For example, the establishment of the Special Office for the Children’s Concerns which is mandated by the Children’s Welfare Code. Since 1994 until 2006, that office has not yet been created and this office is supposed to look into, assess and constantly create measures to address issues affecting the children,” he said.
He said several cases of child labor remained undocumented.
Based on the records of the ACT for Children Alliance, about 400 children in Davao City are involved in child labor activities. Most of them are scavengers of garbage, laborers in public markets, sellers, fishers and even farmers.
“But as we see it right now, it turned out it is being only used as an asset of the city to bag the Most Child-Friendly City Award. In our assessment, it is not fully implemented,” said Mondragon.
The areas in the city where child labor is prevalent are in Callawa, Ilang, Panacan and Tibungco, among others.
In a statement during the regular session on October 20, 2015, the group identified the primary provisions of the code that were not implemented aside from child labor.
These provisions include bullying inside schools and communities, violent riots, teenagers getting access to hotels, lodges, and clubs, street children, physical and sexual abuses against children, prostitution, pornography, lack of health facilities accommodating underprivileged children, children engaged in illegal drug syndicate, poverty, and lack of a mobilized Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC). (Roberto A. Gumba, Jr.)
| Published in 105.9 Balita FM’s Facebook page: Groups blame weak law enforcement on continuing child labor cases, June 10, 2016