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The National Government Agencies, namely DSWD, DepEd, DOLE, DOH, DILG, DA, DOJ, TESDA, NEDA, and NCIP signed the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1 on Guidelines in the Implementation of the HELP ME Convergence Program to Address Child Labor on January 7, 2016 at NEDA Pasig Building, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

The 2011 National Survey on Children revealed that 3.312 million of 26.617 million children 5-17 years old are working children. About 2.097 million children are engaged in child labor, of which 2.049 million work in hazardous labor. Most child labor occurs in the informal sector, with approximately 58.4% working in agriculture, 34.6% in services, and 7% in industry.

Regions with the highest incidence of hazardous child labor were Central Luzon (10.5%), Bicol (10.4%), Western Visayas (8.2%), Northern Mindanao (8.5%), CALABARZON (8.3%), and Central Visayas (7.4%).

The HELP ME Convergence Program aims to implement a sustainable and response convergence program to address child labor in the Philippines by providing community-based, focused, converged and synchronized strategies to effectively address the child labor problem.

‘HELP ME’ stands for the following: H – for health services and medical assistance; E -- for education and training; L – for livelihood opportunities to parents of child labourers; P – for prevention, protection and prosecution; M -- for monitoring; and, E – for evaluation.

The JMC shall serve as the basis of engagement of partner government agencies in the convergence of delivery of services in the implementation of the HELP ME Convergence Program, from the national and sub-national levels down to the barangay level.

The HELP ME Convergence Program will be implemented in all regions. Priority for program convergence will be the DOLE’s target Child Labor-Free Barangays, households covered by the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamily Program and areas identified in the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and the updated Philippine Development Plan.

The DOLE shall provide overall coordination of activities of HELP ME Convergence Program in the areas of policy, program and strategy formulation and implementation as well as in program monitoring and evaluation. It shall promote expansion of the alliance towards extension of direct services such as, but not limited to, health, education, welfare and legal assistance to child labor victims and provision of viable economic opportunities to parents of child labourers.

Contact:
Ms. Ma. Edna L. Estal
Public Affairs Information Office
Tel. No. 7811039 local 1005

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