Lawmaker wants a probe on child labor in PH

A LAWMAKER today called for a congressional inquiry into the increasing number of child labor in the country, which has already reached millions.

Rep. Mark Villar (Lone District, Las Piñas City), author of House Resolution 2531, also urged the House Committee on Labor Employment to investigate the hazards of child employment in many parts of the country.

Citing Republic Act 9231, or the Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child, Villar said the law provides special protection of children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination.

Under the law, Villar said the government shall intervene on behalf of the parent or guardian who fails to protect the children from abuse and exploitation.

Citing a study of the National Statistics Office (NSO), Villar said the number of child laborers increased from 3.02 million in 2001 to 5.49 million in October 2011.

Villar said even the International Labor Organization (ILO) declared that the cause of child labor in the country is poverty and lack of decent productive work.

“Despite the efforts of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in looking for job openings here and abroad, there remains the problem of being underemployment over regular employment,” Villar said.

Villar said in order to help the people get employment, the basic measure to determine the solutions available to alleviate poverty and to eliminate child labor.

“The youth must be given more opportunities in education rather than being exploited through employment specifically in hazardous jobs like mining, collection of junk materials in dumpsites,” Villar said.

Villar said the government should initiate an action only through having employment opportunities but also to craft and to enact necessary legislations to increase the quality of living in the country.

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