Working together towards building a stronger protection for children, the Quezon City Local Government and World Vision Development Foundation, Inc. – Project Against Child Exploitation (ACE) conducted the Quezon City Program Implementation Sub-Committee on Child Labor’s (QC-PIC) Strategic Planning for 2023 – 2028 with the title “Advancing Child Welfare: A Strategic Planning Event” on September 20 – 22, 2023.
Under Quezon City’s Executive Order No. 42-B Series of 2020, the committee was created to conduct an information dissemination and awareness campaign on the elimination of child labor together with other stakeholders in the regional offices, national offices, and private sectors in formulating policies and programs.
The event, which was attended by 60 participants, aimed to ensure that the QC PIC’s activities and resources are aligned with its mandates and with Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) Action Plan for 2023-2028 by identifying and prioritizing key goals and initiatives to maximize resources and efforts of the sub-committee in partnership with World Vision Project ACE. It also aimed to establish clear responsibilities and metrics for tracking progress toward strategic objectives and lay the groundwork for sustained success and growth over the long term thru a sustainability roadmap.
World Vision Project ACE Director Daphne Culanag acknowledged the presence of different stakeholders from the city. Specifically, she mentioned that “I am grateful that Project ACE is able to support this QC-PIC strategic planning to end the worst forms of child labor in Quezon City. This advocacy has long been a part of my journey as one of the core marchers during the Global March Against Child Labor more than 25 years ago, which took place in Quezon City and I am glad to see how far we’ve come in protecting the rights of every Filipino child, particularly in the fight against the worst forms of child labor, which includes online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, as well as violations of acceptable working conditions. I am grateful for the unwavering support of Mayor Joy Belmonte for the PIC and the PESO to uphold children’s protection. Your active participation in this planning session gives me hope that we will see a brighter future for children. Rest assured Project ACE will continue to work with you in ensuring that the plans you made this week will be implemented for the best interest of children,” she added.
Meanwhile, in his opening remarks, Department Head of the Public Employment Service Office-Quezon City, Mr. Rogelio L. Reyes, MCD, underscored that “Mayor Joy Belmonte is pleased to see that we are prompt in implementing our child labor programs and that we are setting a standard for the Department of Labor and Employment in this regard. Our subcommittee is constantly in the forefront of developing services and programs for the child laborers. Developing our strategy plan is an excellent chance to record our efforts so that we may subsequently share them with other local government bodies and work together on advocacy.”
Thereafter, QC PESO and QC PIC members were provided the opportunity to present their accomplishments, progress, and impact. They particularly highlighted capacity building activities provided to labor inspectors, service providers, duty bearers, law enforcement stakeholders, barangay officials, school officials, and the youth sector. Awareness raising activities related to child labor have been conducted as well as policy initiatives and ordinances were also presented.
On the second day of the event, Department of Labor and Employment – National Council Against Child Labor (DOLE – NCACL) through Ms. Dianne Lyneth Alavado, Senior Labor and Employment Officer of Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, presented the Philippine Program Against Child Labor Action Plan 2023 – 2028 including the Durban Call to Action on the Elimination of Child Labor, PPACL Strategic Framework, Program Outcomes and Components.
Department of Justice was also present during the event highlighting the agency’s initiatives when it comes to OSAEC. Particularly, Atty. Vincent J. Ong shared the unlawful or prohibited acts under the law. OSAEC is considered to be one of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL) in the Philippines. Quezon City, as one of the key areas of the project, continuously work together with Project ACE in ensuring that the child protection issue will be eliminated in its communities. In fact, the local government prioritized the localization of the Republic Act 11930 also known as “the “Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) and Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) Act” with the support of the project.
On the last day of the planning, members were provided a venue to come up with an action plan that the QC PIC will take on the prevention and elimination of WFCL including OSAEC. The city’s priority actions include the social and behavioral change campaign against child labor, PIC’s strengthening, expansion, localization, and harmonization efforts, enforcement of child labor laws, access to social protection, knowledge management on child labor, and monitoring and evaluation of its programs.
Funding is provided by the United States Department of Labor under cooperative agreement number IL 34007-19-75-K. 100 percent of the total costs of the project in the Philippines is financed with United States Department of Labor funds.