The Problem and Its Background
A.Background of the Study
Child labour is a worldwide problem regardless of the economic status of a country. This social phenomenon continues to exist both in developed and developing countries. The Philippines as one of Newly Industrializing Countries, also encounters the same (C. Diaz, personal communication, December 7, 2009). Child labour is rampant in this country due to poverty. It deprives basic right to education and health (Philippine Star, 1993). Many child labourers are forced to stop schooling due to the necessity of contributing to family’s income. Child labour with its goal to respond immediately to the basic need of the household, deprives the child of the time to focus on schooling. The health condition of the child labourers is also affected due to the exposure of children to chemicals which are mostly hazardous to their health. The time spent in working contributes also to the health of the children. More than eight hours of working is not suitable to the age of the children. It has also many effects in the development of the country as a whole. An increase in child labour frequently causes a decline in acquiring of human capital (Basu as cited by David & Undyaundye, 2009). Basu explained further if a child is employed all through the day, it is likely that the child will remain uneducated and have low productivity as an adult. If a child works more his productivity as an adult falls because child labour diminishes adult productivity (Pigou, 1920). Majority of our population comprises those who are tolerating child labour (Navidad, 2002). The existence of house helpers who are below 18 years old shows that some Filipinos tolerate child labour. One aspect of development is education. They cannot deny the fact that education in our country is also affected by poverty. There are many children who stopped from schooling due to financial incapacity in complying to school requirements.
The desire also of employers to save labour cost perpetuates child labour (Manila Chronicle, 1990). Most of the children who are engaging in child labour are drop-outs due to poverty that have driven them to work for wages that would contribute to family’s income (Focus Phil. 1984).
The Philippines has a free public education from pre-school to grade six (Sakellariou, 2004) but only 88 percent of children under-12 age group and 83 percent of children in the 6-17 age group were enrolled in 1999 (1999 Annual Poverty Incidence Survey as cited in the paper of Sakellariou). The schooling of these children was affected in a way that they eventually stopped from schooling. There are one million four hundred sixty eight thousand nine hundred ninety eight (1,468,000) children who are working during vacation. One million six hundred eight thousand two hundred sixty eight (1,680,068) are elementary undergraduates (Philippine National statistics Office October 2001 as cited in Labor Participation of Children among Banana Growers, 2003). In Region XI, there are one hundred sixty six thousand one hundred forty three (166,143) child labourers as of 2003 (Diel & Lopez, 2003). Child labour as one of the consequences of poverty and socio-economic problems is inevitable. There is a need to awaken the parents of child labourers and the society as a whole on the danger of not educating the children. Uneducated children will become liabilities instead of assets in our society. Poverty condition will be extreme due to jobless sector of the society which is mostly composed of unschooled individuals. For a parent not to educate the child is a breach of duty not only toward the child but also toward the members of the community generally, who are all liable to suffer seriously from the consequences of ignorance and want of education in their fellow citizens (Mill, 1970). Children should be protected from over work and working beyond their capacity.
C.Statement of the...