Livelihoods, Education, Advocacy and Protection or ABK3 LEAP, armed with the battlecry “Sugar is sweeter without child labor” under the guidance of World Vision Development Foundation, Inc., conducted a two-day enumerators training at Villa Estela Fine Inn in Maramag last June 18-19, 2015. The said training was spearheaded by the team of Ms. Portia Xenia P. Liwagon, Provincial Engagement Officer, Mr. Mitchel Jay G. Renton, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Mr. Loreto Mina, Jr., Monitoring and Evaluation Associate and Mr. Chris Leones, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialit. It was actively supported by the Local Government of Maramag through the vigorous participation of the 20 pre-selected enumerators from the three pilot barangays of Kuya, San Roque and Panadtalan.
During the kick-off of the event, various topics pertaining to the anchoring basis of the child labor monitoring system (CLMS) were diligently presented by the team with the aid of the Municipal Planning and Development Office staff.
According to Ms. Liwagon, CLMS is an active process for stopping child labor and preventing children from engaging in hazardous work. She further stated that this process involves direct observations (repeated regularly) to identify child laborers and to determine risk to which they are exposed, to refer them to services, to verify that they have been removed and to track them and ensure that they have satisfactory alternatives.
During the second day of the training, the enumerators were directed by the team to conduct actual profiling of selected students from Kuya Elementary School which was duly witnessed by the Municipal Council for the Protection and Welfare of Women and Children (MCPWWC) Secretariat and the Barangay Kuya Elementary School Principal and faculty members. The interview was steered smoothly based on the required outcome without difficulty. It wa basically administered to test the effectiveness and efficiency of the data collection plan process to be integrated in the system.
According to the team, it is not a hidden issue that child labor does exist in sugarcane plantations within the locality and there are children engaged in hazardous activities. This is why there is a need to adopt an active process for its prevention, specifically a system designed to support the elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL).
ABK3 LEAP was introduced in Maramag in 2011 by the World Vision Development Foundation, Inc. to combat exploitative child labor in the sugarcane industry in the locality. World Vision has been in Maramag for several years now. And now that the project is nearing its end in September 2015, a big leap of action is expected from the MCPWWC and other sectors to sustain the magnanimous objective of eliminating child labor in Maramag with the use of the CLMS.
The Child Labor Monitoring System supports the goals of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL), which emphasizes the need to establish multi-level information systems, including the development and maintenance of a reliable database and monitoring system for child labor. It also supports various programs and projects of the DILG that urges LGUs to provide interventions for the elimination or reduction of child labor cases and eradicates WFCL. The implementation of the said system was grounded on the following recompenses: increase awareness on the situation of children in the municipality, information gathered through this system will be a good basis for planning, programming and policy formulation, essential in accessing programs and funds from government line agencies and other organizations, and most of all, quick response, referral and support actions can be made possible.
With the monitoring system that will uphold the rights and dignity of children in the municipality, surely it will secure the progress of the municipality’s posterity, as averred by Ms. Liwagon.
Through the ABK3 LEAP project, led by World Vision Development Foundation, Inc., and the avid upkeep of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the goal of Maramag in becoming a certified Child Friendly Municipality, with its uneding efforts to address the needs of the most vulnerable sector of the society, will be within reach.
By Anavieve F. Lazibal, MPDO, LGU – Maramag (as posted in the LGU Bulletin Board on June 25, 2015)