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Visayan Sugar District Vows an End to Child Labor Practice
March 20, 2012
ORMOC CITY, Leyte, Philippines — Planters in the Ormoc-Kananga Sugar District have expressed a commitment to end the practice of hiring child labor in the sugar industry.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 8 officer-in-charge Exequiel Sarcauga and Virgilio Doroja Jr., information officer designate of DOLE-8 said that in a resolution passed by members of the Ormoc–Kananga Mill District Development Council Foundation, Inc. (MDDCFI), it was resolved to provide assistance to sugar workers in the implementation of Republic Act No. 9231 or the Anti-Child Labor Law.
The MDDCFI is a grass root level organization in Ormoc-Kananga milling district created in response to Sugar Regulatory Administration Order No. 3-91. Composed of representatives from sugarcane planters associations or cooperatives, sugar mills, and the SRA, the council serves as a channel in addressing all issues pertaining to sugarcane production.
MDDCF chairman, Atty. Roy Bernard C. Fiel, said that since the sugar industry is perceived to be a possible area where children may be employed, the MDDCFI would like to assist in the implementation of the law by imposing sanctions on erring sugarcane farmers within the district.
He added that the MDCCI has also resolved to suspend its services and assistance to sugarcane farmers in the Ormoc-Kananga Mill District found guilty of violating RA 9231.
Such concrete action by said sugar planters came after the Department of Labor and Employment in the region conducted an Advocacy/Orientation on the anti-child labor law with members of the District Tripartite Council, and the MDDCFI during the latter’s 9th MDDCFI Seminar last December 2011.
Sarcauga welcomed this development and expressed optimism that with the strong partnership among the planters group, child labor in the sugar industry would be eliminated thus, achieving the government’s vision of a child labor-free Philippines.
“We would like to commend the MDDCFI for taking a bold step to address child labor in the sugar industry, but our work does not stop as we need stronger action and shared commitment if we want to remove children from hazardous forms of employment.
Sarcauga explained that the DOLE has been vigorously implementing the anti-child labor law through sustained advocacy, surveillance and rescue operations, and livelihood interventions, all of which are aimed at preventing and eliminating child labor.
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