Press Releases
US Labor Department visits Angono’s campaign against Child Labor


Mayor Gerry Calderon (R), Director Ma. Zenaida Campita (next to Mayor Calderon), members of the media welcomes the representative from the US Labor Department.

Year 2015 when the Local Government Unit of Angono, Rizal was declared and recognized as the 1st Child Labor Free Municipality in the Philippines, and with the continuous commitment of the municipality led by its Local Chief Executive, Public Employment Service Office, Civic Society Organizations in their locality and other stakeholders, the LGU was able to sustain their title and continually prevent and mitigate the threat of child labor in their locality.

U.S. Department of Labor officials Monika Hartsel and Rommel Calderwood Wednesday morning, July 19, 2017, visited LGU-Angono, Rizal. The guests were welcomed by no other than the Municipal Mayor Gerry Calderon, Regional and Provincial Labor Officials, local and barangay officials, police officials, municipal department heads, and members of the civic society.

The visit aims to learn the local procedure on how the Municipality was able to free their barangays from Child Labor, the criteria for certification, best practices noted, and the role and contribution of the local government and other stakeholders to achieve and maintain the status.

Ms. Monika Hartsel from the US Department of Labor.

Angono Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in-charge Jolan S. Aralar presented the documentation of Angono’s Child Labor Free Municipality (CLFM) Program. It was followed by the narration of the Punong Barangays (village chiefs) on their efforts in providing interventions such as identifying and profiling, training and livelihood to parents and households where child workers were initially identified.

The town’s School Supervisor, Dr. Maribeth de Dios, certified that all the identified child laborers were brought back to school and are still in school two years after the program’s inception in 2015. She cited the collective efforts from the stakeholders especially from the association of the former child laborer’s parents and guardians.

Hartsel then recognized the efforts and expressed her admiration for what Angono has done and noted that the town's template in solving child labor can be replicated as model by other towns and local government units.

Mayor Gerry Calderon, meanwhile, expressed his gratitude to local officials and civil society volunteers for sustaining their effort in keeping Angono free from child labor. He singled out representative from the informal sector workers Ms. Josephine Parilla whose organization, PATAMABA-WISE served as the accredited co-partner in implementing livelihood projects for the parents of the child laborers.

Mayor Gerry added that this child labor free program is testament to his vision that the future is for the children and child labor incidence should be curbed and finally eliminated. The town chief declared that child labor, in all its forms, has no place in this world. Furthermore, Mayor Calderon also highlighted his strategy in governance which he described as participatory, consultative, and inclusive.

DOLE CALABARZON Regional Director Ma. Zenaida A. Angara-Campita, for her part, cited the excellent support from the local chief executive as a key factor in effectively addressing a critical issue such as child labor incidence. DOLE’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) represented by Chief LEO Maribeth Casin then expressed the Bureau’s gratitude to Mayor Calderon and to all the program stakeholders for their dedication to implement the program and their willingness to share their best practices and strategies to other local governments. BWSC recommended LGU-Angono to the US Department of Labor as the area for their site visit.


Catering artsy hands of the municipality, Hartsel and other guests received small paintings, their portrait sketched by local artists, and hand-crafted higantitos (small giants) as souvenir. The paintings were drawn by poor URS Angono students and informal settlers who are beneficiaries of DOLE’s Bottom Up Budgeting livelihood program.

The visit was capped with a visit to the residence of former child laborers and to the livelihood center where their parents are working.

By:

JORGE MANUEL C. LAUDE
TSSD-EW LCO-Designate
With reports from Richard R. Gappi and Joulhlan S. Aralar of LGU Angono

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2017-08-08
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