MANILA, Philippines—The provincial government of Northern Samar has become the first provincial government unit in the country to enact a local anti-child labor ordinance, complete with an initial P1-million funding for its implementation, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.
“This shows how serious the provincial government officials are in eliminating child labor in their area of responsibility,” said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, who commended the provincial government officials for the initiative.
She also urged other local government units to emulate the provincial government’s act of support to the campaign to rid our country of the menace of child labor.
Baldoz noted that other provinces, such as Albay and Quezon, had used the ordinance as basis for crafting their own anti-child labor legislative proposals.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously approved Provincial Ordinance No. 11 Series of 2012, entitled “An Ordinance Defining and Penalizing the Use of Child Labor and Providing for a Program for the Prevention and Progressive Elimination of Child Labor in Northern Samar and for other Purposes.”
The anti-child labor ordinance defines and penalizes the use of child labor and provides for a program on the prevention and elimination of child labor in Northern Samar. To support the program, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved an initial budget of P1 million for its implementation.
The ordinance also mandates the creation of municipal child labor committees and child labor protection desks in all police stations in the province to be manned by police officers who will receive complaints and problems and assist victims of child labor.
DOLE Region 8 Director Exequiel Sarcauga reported that 14 Northern Samar barangays (villages) have already passed barangay ordinances for the prevention and elimination of child labor practices.
Sarcauga explained that the child labor ordinances set the policies and guidelines at the provincial and barangay levels on how to curb child labor in their areas.
“An anti-child labor ordinance is one of the indicators of a barangay’s child-labor-free status under the child labor-free campaign.