DSWD surprised by child labor cases

By Rainier Allan Ronda, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 13 2014 04:29 AM | Updated as of Jun 13 2014 12:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Eastern Visayas expressed surprise over the report of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on the alleged proliferation of child labor in areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda last November.

Nestor Ramos, DSWD Field Office 8 director, said the department is always on the lookout against child labor and has not noted a “rampant” number of cases.

More than 6,000 persons died and more than four million others were displaced when Yolanda hit the Visayas region on Nov. 8, 2013.

The typhoon also damaged almost P90 billion worth of properties and affected about six million workers.

“We’re surprised over that because we haven’t seen that here in Eastern Visayas. Did they mean Eastern Visayas when they say Yolanda-hit areas?” Ramos told The STAR.

ILO said the devastation wrought by Yolanda last year resulted in a widespread child labor problem in the Visayas.

Based on an assessment of the Yolanda-affected municipalities in Western and Central Visayas, 54 percent of the 112 barangays in the two regions reported children involved in child labor or in harsh and dangerous employment, the ILO said.