“END child labor in the supply chains – It’s everyone’s business!” – This was the theme of the recently concluded celebration of the World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) activity of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI in the region.

The activity, graced by different executives and members of both public and private sectors all over Davao Region, was held last Friday, June 10, at the Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases two days ahead of the actual celebration of WDACL which is on June 12.

It is DOLE’s participation in the annual celebration of the International Labor Organization (ILO) which began way back 2002. The activity, according to DOLE XI anti-child labor focal person Melanie R. Jadulang, aims to gather support from government workers, employers, and organizations to help in advocating and eliminating child labor in the supply chains.

DOLE XI Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao in his opening statement underscored the collaboration of both the concerned government agencies and non-government organizations in combatting child labor through the “HELP ME” convergence program.

‘HELP ME’ stands for the following: H – for health services and medical assistance; E – for education and training; L – for livelihood opportunities to parents of child laborers; P – for prevention, protection and prosecution; M – for monitoring; and E – for evaluation.

“It is not only the government’s business but it is the business of everyone to end child labor and for this year our advocacy is to end child labor in the supply chain,” Director Suyao said.

The event included learning sessions and sharing of good practices wherein different resource speakers have been invited to educate and orient the participants.

Guest speakers include: ILO-International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) Project Manager Cesar Giovanni Soledad on the topic of child labor in supply chains, Sonia M. Delfin for DOLE Department Order 149 series of 2016: Guidelines in Assessing and Determining Hazardous Work in the Employment of Persons below 18 years of Age and Paul V. Cruz for the orientation on incentivizing compliance program, Vermilyn Bilog from Tadeco and Baragay Kibuaya, Hagonoy Barangay Captain Virginia C. Tobiano for the sharing of best practices.

Moreover, DOLE XI also awarded Toyota Davao City and Tagum City for as Child Labor Free Establishment during the program.

As of today, DOLE XI has conferred 10 companies and 3 barangays as child labor free.

Furthermore, stickers and other IEC materials were also distributed during the event.

Kriztja Marae G. Labrador/LCO-DOLEXI