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Sunday, February 5, 2012

A National Policy Study on Child Labor and Development in the Philippines By: Fernando T. Aldaba, Leonardo Lanzona and Ronald Tamangan

Reviewed by Lanie Pabilona
IV-18 BSE History

Unit I: Situation of Working Children and Child Labor in the Philippines: General Statistical Trends, 1995 and 2001

                Based on the statistics, there is an increased rate on child labor from year 1995 up to the year 2001. In urban areas, female rates higher with the ages 14 years and below while in the rural areas, male has greater rate from 15 up to 17 years of age. But there is a difference on these statistics for the children working in urban areas (particularly female) are children going to school while in rural (male) are out-of-school youth. On the first statistic, we can probably say that they are working to sustain their school needs rather than just to meet the basic necessities of their families. Looking on the other statistics, since they are out-of-school, they are most likely working to supply their basic need/s – to provide food for the family is one. On this unit also, the unjust payment was tackled. We can conclude that one main reason for having child labor is the cheaper payment for the minor workers because of course, children do not yet have enough knowledge of their rights, next is some of them are working out of fear, another reason is that there are no other works available for them considering their age so they just grab the opportunity given to them on that workplace.

Unit II: A Review of Literature of Child Labor in the Philippines

                People often view child labor as a result of mere economic incapability of the household heads, specifically the parents, to provide and sustain the needs of the family. But what people were not able to see are the other factors leading to this kind of situation. We can include to these factors is the weak enforcement of existing laws, the reason why many people (including children) are force to be involved on this kind of work during the call of desperate situations. Also, social policies could influence the household decision regarding child labor. Many of us are viewing this incident as a petty and normal happening in the society wherein we should view this as one of those fatal incidents because it could have a short-term and worse, long-term effects wherein lower productivity of the children lead to the perpetuation of poverty and other negative externalities resulting from poor education and health. But in all problems there are solutions, the government and the community as well could respond to child labor through setting clear goals, priorities and strategies, enactment of key legislation policies, having that awareness on the situation and social mobilization, involvement and provision of alternatives.

Unit III: Poverty, Schooling and Child Labor

                Poverty, schooling and child labor are relatively connected to a child’s condition. Because of poverty, many parents were not able to send their children to school instead force them to engage in child labor. Financial crisis creates that great effect in the families’ income and welfare (e.g. education, food consumption, work decision and savings). Based on the econometric tests, access to assets lead to greater schooling and education has an asset or income effect that reduces the child’s engagement in work. Also, those who reside in poor households have the greater tendency to work, age, sex, educational attainment and income poverty influenced household decision in sending their children in work instead in school and assets formation affects child labor decision.

Unit IV: International and National Policies and Programmes on Child Labor

                Different conventions were held, national laws and policies were made, policy frameworks were presented and key government programmes were placed. We could assume that we are already taking steps to eliminate/eradicate child labor in the country but all programs and policies made to be a solution needed the necessary fund to implement it. And that is the “lacking ingredient” to make all of this stuff possible.


                In making things possible, cooperation, involvement, awareness and partnership are important. We could not say that it is just for the government to respond on this kind of matter because being one of this country’s member, all of us could, directly or indirectly, be affected by the child labor’s results. We should not take the issue of child labor lightly for it can paralyze the economic aspect of the country, like any other issues, because it could hit the production in general. While we are all busy and focus on many political conflicts, we should find and take time to look on those children that are boldly abused by the situation of poverty.

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