Permit Issued. 2014 Junior Grand Champion Performer of the World, Lloyd J. Montebon secures his Working Child Permit recently at the Department of Labor and Employment - Davao Region. Also in photo is (left to right) talent scout Arthur Zata, Lloyd's father Ernesto Montebon and DOLE Senior Officer Heraclea B. Dela Torre. (Photo by Sherwin B. Manual) He is ready to conquer the world. And he’s starting it right by securing — Working Child Permit.

Winning the 2014 Junior Grand Champion Performer of the World, Lloyd Edisonne Judilla Montebon is already being offered a number of working contracts either locally (in Davao) or among the major networks and labels in the country.

“We are preparing for offers of local shows sponsored by some companies and hopefully a concert,” said Llyod’s father Ernesto Montebon.

Before winning the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA), 12-year old Montebon was Grand Champion of local talent search,  Talent Edge under talent scout Arthur Zata. “Impossible Dream” Lloyd’s favorite song was his winning piece during the WCOPA competition.

“There are possible contracts but we cannot enter into it because they all require the Working Child Permit, as legal basis for Lloyd to be employed,” said Zata who is the sole WCOPA talent scout for Mindanao.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issues the Working Child Permit through the Department Advisory Number 01-08 in compliance with the Republic Act 9231 (Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and affording Special protection for Working Child, amending RA 7610.

Section 12 of this law states that children below 15 years of age shall not be employed except when a child works directly under the sole responsibility of his parent or guardian… that his employment neither endangers his life, safety, health and morals, nor impairs his normal development.

Employment of children is also allowed where a child’s employment or participation in public entertainment or information through cinema, theater, radio or television is essential but the employer shall institute measures to prevent the child’s exploitation or discrimination considering  the system of level of remuneration and duration of engagement and working time.

RA 9231 defines that a child shall not be allowed to work for more than 8 hours a day and in no case beyond 40 hours a week. It added, “no child (below 18 years of age) shall be allowed to work between 10 o’clock in the evening until 6 o’clock in the morning of the following day.”

“The Department ensures that the rights of the child are upheld and protected especially if he or she is engaged in employment,” said DOLE Davao Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao.

He said that the law has set parameters and it must be observed.

“Aside from singing, I can also dance, and act,” said the young Montebon.  The Montebons are originally  from Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental.

“Kahit mahirap ang buhay, kung magsusumikap ka kaya mong abutin ang pangarap. We should stay humble,” said the talented Llyod, when sought for a message to other kids like him who dreams big.

Sherwin B. Manual/DOLE11