World Vision’s Project Against Child Exploitation (ACE) and the local government of Quezon City (QC) conducted an activity highlighting the Quezon City Ordinance No. SP 3214, S-2023, or the Anti-Child Labor Ordinance of Quezon City. The ordinance provides for the prevention and elimination of all forms of child labor and affording special protection for the victims and their families, imposing penalties for violation thereof” with the theme “transforming lives, eliminating child labor” on January 23-24, 2024.
The activity aimed to increase local compliance of barangay officials, create a greater community engagement in issues addressed by the ordinance, improve implementation strategies to suit the specific needs of the communities, and enhance the capacity of local officials to enforce and advocate for ordinances, contributing to stronger local governance. It was attended by Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairpersons on January 23, 2024 (Day 1) and Barangay Captains on January 24, 2024 (Day 2).
On the first day of the event, Mayor Joy Belmonte inspired the young leaders of the city by highlighting that “every single right of a child is violated when he or she is a child laborer. The least we can do is to work hard to make sure every child has an opportunity for a good future. In our city, we always aim to achieve the most ambitious goal. Thus, I hope that you will join me in this advocacy towards a Zero Child Labor Campaign in Quezon City”.
The Anti-Child Labor Ordinance was approved by the 22nd City Council led by Vice Mayor Gian Sotto and signed by Mayor Joy Belmonte last October 5, 2023. Through the ordinance, enhanced protection will be provided to the child laborers and concrete programs will be given to their parents towards the elimination of child labor in the city.
Child Rights and Child Labor 101 was presented by Project ACE Director Daphne Culanag who highlighted the important role of barangay officials in ensuring that the ordinance is applied consistently across all areas in their communities. On the other hand, Atty. Margarita Magsasay from Department of Justice presented the Republic Act 11930 on the first day of the event while the presentation of the Salient Points of the City Ordinance was presented by Mr. Mark Glen Sison, Legislative Officer staff of Hon. Edgardo Yap, on the second day.
In the afternoon session, the Quezon City Public Employment Service Office, through Mr. Matthew Valdeavilla, presented the initiatives of the local government of Quezon City in eliminating and preventing child labor. Aside from providing a clear definition of child labor and its worst forms, his presentation included the establishment of Task Force Sampaguita, memorandum of agreement between Council of the Welfare of Children (CWC) and QC for the Makabata Helpline 1383, and training of hotline 122 operators, among many others. These were conducted with the support and facilitation of Project ACE.
The last session of the event on the second day highlighted the effective strategies and best practices in community governance by selected barangay officials. In his message, Mr. Noel F. Vitug, Chairman of Barangay Sauyo, mentioned the importance of working together to achieve a child-labor-free QC. He also thanked World Vision for its support to his community not only when it comes to ending child labor but also in its programs in education, health and nutrition, child protection, disaster preparedness, and economic development. Last year, Barangay Sauyo was awarded as the Most Child Friendly Barangay in Quezon City receiving the highest point for its programs and services focused on child protection. “We are grateful to World Vision Philippines for supporting us in our endeavor. They have helped our barangay in the conduct of our activities on children’s rights. To all barangay captains here, please welcome World Vision if they try to enter your community because they will surely help you in reaching your goals in promoting children’s rights in the city,” he added.
The event affirmed the strong commitment of the local government of Quezon City in its campaign against child labor through a commitment signing of the Zero Child Labor Manifesto that was signed both by SK Chairpersons and Barangay Captains on both days. Just last November 2023, the local chief executive herself launched the Zero Child Labor Campaign in Quezon City to start a local movement towards the elimination of child labor in the country. She also launched the Unified Referral System for Child Protection which can be used by various stakeholders, including clients, teachers, social workers, police officers, and BCPC staff, to accurately record and refer cases involving children in Quezon City.
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.
Pauline Giselle D. Navarro
Communications Officer, Project ACE World Vision
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0906 455 7265