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Rigo Duterte encourages child laborers to ‘no to drugs’ despite hardships

Saturday, July 1, 2023

First Congressional District Communication and Information Office

Rigo Duterte encourages child laborers to ‘no to drugs’ despite hardships

DAVAO CITY – First Congressional District Representative Paolo “Pulong” Duterte’s son, Rodrigo “Rigo” Duterte II, encouraged children not to resort to drugs despite the hardships they are going through.


Rigo issued such a statement before the guests and partakers of the 2023 World Day Against Child Labor celebration held at the Malayan Colleges Mindanao in Matina on June 30, Friday afternoon.


Though Rigo was hesitant to accept the invitation earlier upon realizing this was about the child laborers, he was somehow proud of these children’s strong-willed to help their parents and siblings.


“I paused because I never wanted to see children burdened with life’s challenges at such a young age. I believe children should play and enjoy their innocence,” Rigo said in vernacular.


Facing the child laborers, Rigo said that their presence proves that wicked things like drugs do not easily sway them. Thus, he encouraged everyone to report anyone they saw using or selling illegal drugs.


He added that as supportive children, their minds should be on how they can develop themselves to help their families.


“Dapat huna-hunaon nato nga taliwala sa kalisud sa kinabuhi, kita mangita gayud ug pamaagi para musukol ug maningkamot para sa atong pamilya (We must remember that amidst life’s hardships, we must strive and try to provide for our family,” Rigo said.


The World Day Against Child Labor is celebrated every June of every year to increase awareness and promote the efforts against child labor.

 

Dubbed “Buong Bansa, Lahat ng Bata, Sama-Sama Para sa Batang Malaya,” the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) aims to bring partner government and private agencies, and other organizations to support the chosen profiled children by giving them gifts, programs, and services.

 

Chelsi Licarte of the DOLE-Davao said 100 parents and children, respectively, and 125 personnel from their department and private establishments attended the event on Friday. 

 

The parents and children received services appropriate to their needs, and the department also conducted a needs assessment through Child Labor Profiling. These programs are highly regarded as a priority concern by Rep. Paolo Duterte, especially regarding the welfare of the youth.


Rep. Duterte also expressed concern about the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2021, revealing that nearly 1 million children are working nationwide.


In a report from DOLE-Davao as of May 30, 2023, significant progress has been made in addressing child labor in the region. Of these 25,077 laborers monitored between 2018 and 2022, concerned agencies rescued 19,455 children from working conditions in mining, domestic work, and others.


Davao del Norte province noted the highest number of withdrawn child laborers, totaling 6,142, followed by Davao City with 3,218.


Meanwhile, Davao Occidental province reported 3,105 cases of withdrawn child laborers, Davao de Oro with 2,768, Davao del Sur with 2,664, and Davao Oriental with 1,558. Most of the children are exposed to agricultural activities, fishing, and household chores.


Rep. Duterte said that the occurrence of child labor has significantly grown worldwide, including in the Philippines, which is a concerning development.


“It is distressing to witness this trend. Children should attend schools to acquire knowledge rather than being forced to work to earn a living,” Rep. Duterte said, adding that everyone can contribute to securing a better future for children who are trapped in hazardous working conditions.


Rep. Duterte cited legislation such as the Anti-Child Labor Law (Republic Act 9231), the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Person Act (RA 10364), and the Domestic Workers Act (RA 10361) that can help.


“We hope that the programs of DOLE and its partner agencies will be implemented successfully. For your other concerns, please remember that the office of Congressman Pulong is always ready to help you,” Rigo said, referring to the participants of the event.


The First Congressional District Office also distributed 100 food packs and cash assistance to the participants during the event. The office also raffled off five laptops and Samsung cellular phones.

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