Child laborers have returned to their places of employment weeks after Typhoon Yolanda cut through Central Philippines on November 8, “Balitanghali” reported on Saturday.
This is despite their already-dangerous workplaces have become more alarmingly unsafe after the storm.
"Takot po, baka mahulugan ako ng malaking bato," said Rex, an 11-year-old working in Calbayog, Samar. The needs of his siblings, however, forces him to continue picking away at rocks in a quarry with no safety gear or equipment other than pick-axes.
Rex is one of the 382,560 kids aged 5- to 17-years-old working in Leyte, Samar, and the rest of Region VIII, according to data from GMA News Research. The same data, taken from a 2011 survey by the National Statistics Office, says that 213,000 of these children are working in high-risk occupations like mining.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has taken issue to the state of these children, and promised that it will find a way to curb such employment.
A month before Yolanda crashed through the country, the Department of Labor and Employment revealed the Labor Law Compliance System. The special audit will assess the compliance of businesses to labor laws, which includes the payment of proper minimum wage and non-employment of minors
More recently, emergency employment
was also provided by DOLE to persons displaced by the typhoon. P15.415-million was also fielded to DOLE's Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES), according to Undersecretary Rebecca Chato, head of the DOLE's Typhoon Yolanda Crisis Management Committee.
SPES aims to provide 15- to 25-year-old students means to continue their education by generating income
during their vacations. All qualified high school, college or vocational students or drop-outs and employers who pass the requirements may apply at any DOLE offices, Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs), or department-sanctioned agency. — Rie Takumi / KDM, GMA News