“No Time for Play”
What brand of sugar are you using right now? Where was it made? Do you know what went into the making of your sugar? It could be the blood of a child, the sweat of a child, the tears of a child.
Now, as I read about child labor, I look down at the pack of sugar I am using. I twist it around in an attempt to get a look at the tag, I can read the plain white tape into the tag: "Manufactured in Negros Occidental”.
As I slowly put the sugar on the table, I think about what it means. Negros Occidental is the major producer of sugarcane and a major home to child labor. According to DOLE, an estimated 3 - 5 million working children are there in the Philippines. As likely as not, the pack of sugar I’m using is the product of some unfortunate child forced by circumstances to work away his or her childhood in a sweatshop. It feels sad that what we use as our daily commodity is the work of the poor Filipino children.
"The child is the father of man." This famous line quoted by William Wordsworth refers to the importance of the child for the development of society as well as for the all-round development of the human race. Childhood is the time to garner the best physical, intellectual and emotional capacity to fulfill this duty towards the nation and to one's own self. However, this simple rule of nature has been crippled by the ever-growing menace of child labor. If one conceives the idea of child labor, it brings before the eyes the picture of exploitation of little, physically tender, illiterate and under-nourished children working in hazardous and unhealthy conditions.
As what we saw last Tuesday, September 7, 2010 in our film showing about Social Class at the Educational Media Center of CPU, it is very depressing that many Filipino children are under child labor. In Sudtonggan, Cebu children are carrying piles of marble stone on their head. In Diwalwal, Davao del Norte, children are laborers through...