QC gov't forms task force to protect minors from labor, exploitation

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 1) — The Quezon City government has formed a task force that will protect children from forced labor and exploitation, through target-specific programs and intervention.

Mayor Joy Belmonte created "Task Force Sampaguita" through Executive Order 41 after a surveillance activity conducted by the local government showed children selling sampaguitas along the city's thoroughfares have become more prevalent and are expected to increase further as the Christmas season nears.

"Dahil sa hirap ng buhay, napipilitan ang ilang kabataan na ilaan ang kanilang oras sa pagtatrabaho imbes na sa pag-aaral," Belmonte said in a statement on Saturday. "Narito ang pamahalaang lungsod para alalayan at suportahan ang kanilang pamilya sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng iba-ibang tulong at serbisyo."

[Translation: Because of poverty, children are forced to work instead of studying. The city government is here to help them and their families through various services.]

The city government said the task force "will craft a local action plan based on the guidelines of Republic Act 7610 as amended by RA 9231 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act, Presidential Decree No. 1563 or the Anti-Medicancy Law, and other related legislative measures."

"At present, the task force is assisting the families of profiled children to secure QCitizen IDs especially for solo parents, livelihood assistance, educational assistance for children-at-risk, Parent Effectiveness Service (PES) for parents, and to coordinate with their Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children," it added.