Through persistent efforts and collaborative initiatives, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI has recorded 77.58% or 19,455 total number of children withdrawn from child labor from 2018 to 2022, as of the first quarter report. Under the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP) of the Department, DOLE XI profiled 25,077 children across Davao Region who were engaged in hazardous working conditions in agriculture, mining, domestic labor, and other sectors – each of them was immediately referred for necessary services.

Indicators of withdrawal from child labor are due to age – these are children who reached 18, through provision of services and long-term assistance such as livelihood grants for parents, through monitoring under the guidelines of DOLE Administrative Order 579-19, and through rescue operations like Sagip Batang Manggagawa. Of these indicators, most of the children withdrawn from child labor were those provided with services.

Of the total number of withdrawn across the region, 31.6% or 6,142 children are from the province of Davao del Norte. Among the five (5) provinces and one (1) chartered city in Davao Region, Davao del Norte records the highest number of profiled child laborers from 2018 t0 2022 with a total of 6,785. Predominantly, child labor in the region prevails in farming, fishing, and domestic works.

Child labor is an alarming issue that deprives children of their right to education, health, and a safe childhood. Recognizing the urgency to eradicate this problem, DOLE XI has undertaken a comprehensive strategy aimed at rescuing children from exploitative labor and providing them with opportunities for a brighter future.

Over the past years, DOLE XI has been actively engaged in advocacy campaigns and programs like the Isang Milyong Batang Malaya, National Children’s Month, World Day Against Child Labor, and the Department’s very own Project Angel Tree. DOLE XI has also taken part in strengthening legislation and enhancing partnerships with local communities, civil society organizations, and the private sector which yielded remarkable results, as indicated by the significant reduction in child labor cases. “While the reduction is notable, our work is far from over. DOLE XI calls upon all sectors of society to join hands and contribute to the cause by reporting any instances of child labor and supporting initiatives that uplift the lives of vulnerable children,” said Regional Director Atty. Randolf C. Pensoy in one of his messages.###MFKM