By Ali G. Macabalang
Constituent-child labor victims have gained tangible attention from the Bangsamoro autonomous government, with at least 180 of them initially receiving P20,000 cash aid each for parents-supervised rehabilitation.
The Bangsamoro bureaucracy held the ceremonial cash aid distribution here on Nov. 20 in time with the observance of National Children’s Month every November, the country’s counterpart to the global celebration of child welfare.
Congress passed on Nov. 20, 1989 R.A. 10661 designating every November as the National Children’s Month in the Philippines in conjunction with the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
The national Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), composed of various line agencies, required the observance of the event with the theme: “Sama-samang Itaguyod Ang Karapatan ng Bawat Bata sa Panahon ng Pandemya.”
The CWC described this year’s celebration as compliant also with the national and local directives on containing the spread of COVID-19 pursuant to Proclamation No.929 from President Duterte.
Bangsamoro Parliament Member Romeo Sema, concurrent regional Labor and Employment minister, said the initial P20,000 cash aid was handed to parents of the 180 victims of child labor at symbolic ceremony here on Nov. 20.
Minister Sema said his ministry’s Bureau of Employment, Promotion and Welfare earlier formed the Sagip Batang Manggagawa program to address child labor issues across the autonomous region, notably Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces, and the cities of Marawi, Cotabato and Lamitan as well as 63 villages in North Cotabato.
“The project is attuned to the efforts of our chief minister, Ahod Ebrahim, to address this nagging child labor problem in the Bangsamoro region,” Sema said.
In pursuit of the Chief Minister’s vision for responsive and morale governance, Sema said, the Ministry of Labor and Employment had initiated strong coordinative networks with constituent local government units to cohesively ensure that child labor practices will be minimized if not eradicated. AGM