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A Study of Child Labor in the Philippines THESIS STATEMENT: Exploitation of child workers continues in the Philippines due to the inefficiency of the policies promulgated by the government to eradicate child labor. For all children who are deprived of their rights. But even we have a responsibility too. Because while nobody is angered by their conditions or realizes the waste of a future that is being slowly squandered, they will remain in this world and they will cease to be children All people were born with rights.
Children are people too; so, children also have rights. These rights are violated through child labor. Child labor is defined as, the employment of a child in a business or industry especially in violation of state or federal statutes prohibiting the employment of children under a specified age. 1 Obviously, it has become a rigid social problem the world over, specifically in third world countries such as the Philippines where child labor is widespread. The authors of this paper will tackle the cases of child laborers, specifically in the city and in provinces of the Philippines. And as for it being one of the social problems existing in the country, does the Philippine government look for ways to manage or better yet, eradicate child labor? The paper focuses on this.
It is a known fact that the disadvantages outnumber the advantages of child labor. The researchers present three points, so the reader could better view the advantages and the disadvantages of the said problem. The historical background could help the reader to understand more of child labor. The purpose of this study is to present the rapid growth or increase of child laborers in the Philippines. Another would be to discuss the effects of child labor to the family, economy, and to the self.
Lastly, to cite ways on how to stop child labor. 1 Child labor, Websters Third New International Dictionary. Industrial child labor first appeared with the development of the domestic system. In this type of production an entrepreneur bought raw materials to be put out to the homes of workmen to be spun, woven, sewn, or handled in some other manner. This permitted a division of labor and a degree of specialization among various families.
Pay was by piece, and children were extensively used at whatever task they could perform. This system was important in England and in North America from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century and it lingers up to the present in some industries and, in some countries including the Philippines. B. Child labor in the Philippines The kid who is coerced to beg on streets and helps make money for professional beggars. The child prostitute who helps buoy the tourist trade. The emancipated body digging out soil in mines and quarries.
The girl working as indentured servant in a private home. The child scavenging in dumpsites. The runner helping distribute illegal drugs. The nubile girl working as a dancer in a night spot, and the teenage starlet exposing mere skin than necessary on the theater screen. Truly, child labor has many faces. It is a work performed by children either endangers their health or safety, interferes with or prevents their education, or keeps them away from play and other activities important to their development. 2 Children have rights.
Government bureaucrats and the do-goods tell us that. But we look around and we see a widespread denial of those rights. We cant deny the fact that every year, the number of child laborers increases. International Labor Organization estimates that the government place the number of child laborers in the country at eight hundred thousand (800, 000), but actual figures may be as high as five million (5, 000, 000). 3 No. of child laborers Region 156, 000 Region 2... 56, 000 Region 3... 36, 000 Region 4... 104, 000 Region 5... 64, 000 Region 696, 000 Region 748, 000 Region 8... 48, 000 Region 9... 40, 000 Region 10... 48, 000 Region 11... 80, 000 Region 12... 40, 000 NCR... 24, 000 CAR 24, 000 TOTAL... 800, 000 4 The tally above by the International Labor Organization, simply shows that there is a proliferation of the problem on child labor in the Philippines. 2 Child labor, New Illustrated Websters Dictionary. 3 Emerson G. Co, Children Labor in the Philippines, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 20 June 1997, p. 16.
The number of children working in the cities are more than seventy thousand (70, 000). 5 These children really struggle to survive in the city. Majority of them cannot be seen during the day since they are working in large factories and in houses if not theyll be working as prostitutes at night. The Philippine garment industry commonly uses child labor in manufacture of products exported to the United States. 6 Children workers are also found in food processing; the manufactures of wood and rattan furniture, fire works or pyrotechnics, plastic bags, and foot wear. In Metro Manila alone, between forty-five to fifty thousand (45, 000 - 50, 000) are child laborers. 7 One of the reasons of the rapid growth of child labor in the city is because they are recruited from the provinces and were promised to have a good life here. Another is that they were forced to work due to poverty. Since children are more industrious compared to other people who are in the right age to work, employers usually get them.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, majority of the child laborers that they have handled usually goes home to their families after their work is done. 8 It is also observed that they seldom 5 Child Labor drive Pushed, Manila Bulletin, 19 January 1998, p. 1. 6 Natasha Viscera, Government Blamed for Rise in Child Labor Abuses, philippine work alone, they are in groups with their friends or guided by their managers usually pimps or policemen. DSWD also noted that children who don not have families to go home to; they often live in pushcarts, streets, drainpipe, cemented pavements, or even on stagnant water. 9 Some of the children that have stayed with them tried to escape because they prefer in streets, working and earning money even though they are paid in small amounts and very hazardous. This like the case of Arnulfo Brand who finished who finished only third grade and is now working at a rice store and gets one hundred pesos (P 100. 00) a month for carrying sacks of rice. He said it is better be on that store rather than being like a prisoner with the DSWD. 10 Eddie Malawi, fifteen years old said, he dropped out of school and left home because there was not a day that his father forced him to work or else he was beaten. 11 There is also this so called legal child labor in the city. It is the girls who are involved in the entertainment industry. They deny their real age and pretend to be eighteen years old.
Based on the statistics there are six hundred to seven hundred thousand (600, 000 - 700, 000) child laborers in the provinces and is larger than that of the citys. 12 It is because children there help their parents in earning a living and sometimes they are forced to stop schooling. Some of them work as a farmer, fisherman, takes care of their siblings, or serve as a housemaid of their rich neighbors and what is worse is that they work as a payment for their families debt. Take the case of Abrelia Pablo, thirteen years old. For six hundred pesos (P 600. 00) a month, with free meals and housing, Abrelia lived with her employer at the Midsayap Golden Miki factory in Cotabato where she works from 6: 30 a. m. to 9: 00 p.
m. Monday to Saturday as a packer. When she was new at work, the tips of her fingers were cut by machines in the factory that has no machine guards. 13 Then there are Ronald and Felix, both thirteen years old, who carry cement bags by the hundreds each night at the Pulauanan Port in Dipolog, and Joel, fourteen, who survived several cave-ins on Mt. Diwalwal on Mindanao. 14 Another is the case of the children in the documentary Milan Lang Sila Bata (Only Once They Are Children).
Their stories show millions of Filipino children at this moment backbreaking, dangerous and filthy work for pitiful wages and enjoying a small portion of the rewards of their work. 15 Tikboy, for instance, works from 10 p. m. to 3 a. m. , at the Cebu slaughterhouse, charged with shaving off the remaining hair on pig carcasses. For five hours labor spent amid the stench and noise of dying animals, slipping on blood and guts, and dodging sharp knives and chains. Tikboy's earnings is a small plastic bag of pork fat, gristle and sometimes a little meat, which he will sell in the market for money to give to his mother.
But he is even luckier than Delete, her brothers and other children working as horns in Ormoc. Tikboy at least has the momentary pleasure of holding cash in his hands. Depends labors are chalked up to pay off her family's debts to the haciendo, incurred during the fallow season when, with no work and no income, her family must borrow against future wages for their subsistence. Its difficult work, especially in the heat of the day, and also dangerous work, wielding sharp bolos to whack at weeds, then gathering them to be burnt. 16 Bobbi, who counts as his real family a gang of teenage boys working as cargo handlers at the pier, wants to be a lawyer when he grows up. He has stopped going to school and with his work: hauling cement bags on his head from the cargo hold to the boat deck, inhaling cement dust that stings his nostrils and lungs. 17 There seems no end to the range of jobs that these children do, either by force or by choice.
Still poverty is the reason why these children in the provinces work. Obviously the governments efforts in protecting them and lessening this child laborers are not enough. A study of Department of Labor and Employment showed that here in the Philippines seventy percent (70 %) of these working children return home every evening. 18 They in short are not burdens to their families. On the contrary, they contribute to the family's income. They are often recruited by people who exploit child labor and in the process they are being totally deprived of school education and the opportunity to experience the wonder years of their lives which is their childhood. They deprived of their rights to a well rounded development of their personality, rights to balance diet, clothing, shelter and healthy life.
Most of all the right to education. 19 Some of these children are forced to work at a very young age about three to five years old by their parents. Often these parents become too dependent on their children up to the extent that they just stay home and let their children work and simply waits for the wages. But in some cases, parents do not really want their children stop going to school and work. They try their best to earn in order to sustain the needs of the family but due to circumstances they have no choice but to let their children help them to earn a living. Because of child labor they dont have a deep relationship with each other. The family is, in fact, the communities first socializing agency and the source of its strength and stability. 20 It is here that the child learns obedience, cooperation, respect for the rights of others.
It is here also that the parents have constant occasions to rise above selfishness in responding to the needs of their children but still there are children engaged in child labor. All the children say they bear no grudge to their parents for letting them work, because they say, if they dont all them will go hungry. 21 If letting these children work is an answer to family's poverty then this work which keeps them away from school will also perpetuate their poverty. Without an education these children and their families are doomed to stay on this generation cycle forever. 1) Every child is endowed with the dignity and worth of a human being from the moment of his conception, as generally accepted in medical parlance, and has, therefore, the right to be born well. 2) Every child has the right to a wholesome fam...
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