Child labor remains prevalent in Region 7
CENTRAL Visayas ranks fifth nationwide with the most number of child labor cases according to a labor official.
Remedios Densing, regional focal person for the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP), said during the AGIO forum at the DOLE-7 office that based on the 2011 National Statistics Office (NSO) survey, there is a total of 321 million child labor cases in the country.
Of the total, 7.3 percent or equivalent to 219,000 cases are from Central Visayas.
Central Luzon tops the number of child labor cases with 316,000, followed by Bicol Region (304,000), Western Visayas (255,000) and Northern Mindanao (246,000).
She said most of the child labor cases are in the areas where there are farmlands and sugarcane plantations.
In the region, Densing said there are prevalent cases of child labor in Negros Oriental as there are wide areas of agricultural land where most children work as farmers and sugarcane plantation workers.
In Cebu province, she said there are child labor cases in Bogo City, San Remigio and Medellin, in northern Cebu.
Apart from farming, the children also work as helpers in construction projects, dishwashers, market vendors and, worse, as prostitutes.
In order to stop cases of child labor, the DOLE is conducting child labor-free barangay campaign.
Densing said they visit the barangays and provide educational assistance to those children engaged in child labor to allow them to go back to school.
San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez told Cebu Daily News they are conducting an information campaign to help stop child labor cases.
For his part, Medellin Mayor Ricky Ramirez said his administration ended child labor in their town several years ago.
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