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Ozaraga, Jan Lianne Pandita, Faisah

Statement of the Problem

This study aims to know the conditions of child laborers in Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and Ozamis. Specifically, it aims to answer the following questions:


1. What is the profile of child laborers in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Ozamis in terms of:
1.1 Age 1.2 Sex 1.3 Kind of Work 1.4 Average Daily Income 1.5 Employment or work of parents 1.6 Educational attainment of parent 1.7 Family Income 1.8 Number of family members 1.9 Religion

2. What are the causes of child labor in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Ozamis? 3. What are the aspirations of the child laborers in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Ozamis? 4. What are the conditions of the working environment of child laborers?

5. What are the perceptions and the attitudes of the child laborers towards work? 6. What are the threats to the physical and mental health of child laborers posed by their working condition?

7. What are the measures taken by the local governments of Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and Ozamis City to mitigate the problem of Child Labor? 8. What are the implications of child labor to the rights of a child?



3.1 Research Design

This study is a descriptive research. Descriptive research involved observing and describing the behavior of a subject without influencing it in any way (Shuttleworth, 2008). It is used to obtain information concerning the current status of a phenomenon, and to describe "what exists" with respect to variables or conditions in a situation. The method involved a range of activities, from the survey, which describes the status quo; to the correlation study, which investigates the relationship between variables; to the developmental studies, which seek to determine changes over time. This study described, evaluated and analyzed the current situation of child laborers in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Ozamis.

3.2 Locale of the Study Researchers conducted the study in Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City, and Ozamis City, where cases of child labor are apparent and are increasing in number. The selected locales are also accessible to the researchers. All three cities are located in Northern Mindanao

3.3 Data Gathering Tools and Techniques

The data of this study were obtained from primary and secondary sources. The primary data were gathered through interviews, which made use of interview guides. Additional data were gathered through interviews with the DSWD and PNP of each municipality. The secondary data, on the other hand were derived from books, journals, dissertations, magazines, newspapers, reliable online sources like PDF files, internet-published books and articles.

3. 4 Respondents of the Study

The respondents of the study were children 15 years old and below who are working any job or doing any paid labor. The respondents are residing and/or working in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Ozamis. Researchers selected 15 child laborers from Iligan City and 12 child laborers from Cagayan de Oro City and Ozamis City. The CSWD and the PNP were secondary respondents of this study.

3.5 Data Gathering Procedure

Before conducting the study, the researchers went to the office of the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) in each city and request data on recorded child labor cases. The researchers observed child laborers in the ports, markets, construction sites, parks and farms for two days in the three locales to select 15 respondents from Iligan City and 12 respondents from Cagayan de Oro City and Ozamis City. Furthermore, the researchers reached the PNP and the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) in each of the four cities to inform them about the study and to request for available documents about the subject of the study.

During the interview, the researchers personally asked questions and wrote down the answers. Follow-up questions were asked when needed. The researchers also made use of a video camera or a voice recorder to further document the data gathering process. The researchers guaranteed confidentiality of privileged information given by the respondents, and provided assurance that the information obtained will be used only for the purposes of this study.

3.6 Treatment of Data

The data gathered by the researchers were treated qualitatively. The data were tabulated and analyzed. The researchers wrote and organized the data in narrative form. After presenting and discussing the data, the findings were summarized and analyzed with the use of the conceptual framework. Conclusions were drawn according to the theoretical framework. From the analyses of data and the conclusions that were made, recommendations were formulated.

5.1.1 Profile of the Respondents There are more males among the respondents. By the time the study was conducted, the youngest is 8 years old and the oldest is 15. When started working, the youngest is just 6 years old while the oldest is 13 years old. The average age by the time the study was conducted is 12 years old and 9 years old when they started working. The average number of working years is 3.

The respondents are usually vendors who sell rugs, corn, candies, candles, flowers, balloons, plastic bags, slippers, viand, balut, and bread, while others are mangangatras, market laborers and trisikad drivers. Majority of them work to support their families and few work to be able to provide their personal needs.

Majority of the respondents earn Php 50-100. Half of them do not have information about the daily income for their family. For the remaining 50% who knew, the highest daily income revealed is Php 500 and above daily while the lowest in between Php 150-250 daily. Most respondents do not know the educational attainment of their parents. But, six revealed that both their mothers and fathers reached High School while five said their mothers and fathers reached only Elementary and another three indicated that their parents have reached college.

The respondents fathers work as construction workers, vendors, fishermen, repairing automobiles and motorcycles, trisikad drivers, laborers, jeepney driver, bricklayer, and janitor. However, eight among the 36 respondents fathers revealed that their fathers have already deceased, while three respondents do not have any idea what their fathers do for a living, and one respondent has unemployed father. Their mothers, on the other hand, work as vendors, laundrywomen, rug-makers, cook, and takes care of an old fellow. There are eight respondents who revealed that their mothers are housewives, while two have deceased mothers.

The average number of family members among the respondents is six members. The largest number of family members is eleven, while the smallest number is three. As to religious affiliation, majority are Roman Catholics and only five are not. Of the five, two are Protestants, one is a Muslim, while the other two said that they dont belong to any religious affiliation.


The respondents became child laborers in order to support their family; to support their personal needs; and to finance their studies. They worked at an early age because of financial needs.


Some of the respondents want to become businessmen/businesswomen in the future, while some want to become soldiers and nurses. Some of the respondents would like to be like their parents selling balloons and slippers. All of them want to have better quality of life. Majority of them even said they want to be rich and buy their own house.


The respondents work in the streets, markets, outside churches, and outside offices. They revealed that their working environment is hot, noisy, crowded, dusty, smelly, and dirty. Further, the respondents revealed that they got used to the conditions in their working environment after working for years. They see their working environment as given and they have no choice but to adjust.


Most of the respondents work for 5-7 hours daily which makes them too tired to attend to their school requirements and study further for the lessons they do not understand. Majority of them do not get discouraged in going to school despite the long hours of working before and after school. Most of them feel tired while working, some feel hungry but in some cases they just sleep to forget their hunger. They do not consider working as a burden. But even those who felt burdened find it necessary to work. They see working as necessary except for one respondent who said that it is not obligatory for him to work; he is just working for extra money.


Some of the respondents have to stop school in order for them to work. They also have insufficient time of sleep. Also, some of them cannot afford to eat three meals a day and are eating an imbalanced diet.

Given the long hours of working, majority of the respondents experience headaches while in work and some of them even have fever and are experiencing muscle pains and colds. Moreover, few of them experience coughs and stomach aches and they even feel dizzy while in their conditions. Most of the respondents are not engaged in vices. But few confessed that they are into vices due to peer pressure and the need to inhale rugby to forget hunger because it is cheaper than food to buy.

5.1.7 Measures Taken by the National Government Agencies in Mitigating Child Labor

The government agencies tasked to mitigate child labor are DOLE, CSWD and PNP. However, the appropriate actions in treating this problem were not fulfilled. They do not recognize child labor as a major problem in the community, thus, they have no actions in combating it. It did not follow its mandate in relevance to the problem of child labor.

5.1.8 Implications to the Rights of the Child

The rights violated by the conditions of child labor are: Republic Act 9231 Sections 2 and Sections 3 Paragraph 1 and 3 because they did not meet the minimum age requirement for working; Universal Declaration on the Rights of the Child Sections 4, 7 and 9 because the respondents exceeded the allowed maximum number of working hours; Presidental Decree 603 Article 3 Paragraph 4, 8, 9, 10 because it violated the right to be provided of the basic needs, right to protection, right to live in a healthy community, and the right to care, assistance, and protection provided by the State.


For the child laborers:

1. The children, even if in an environment surrounded with people who have vices, should do their best to avoid and get away from these bad influences. Further, they should always put in mind that health is of utmost importance in life for survival. As children, their growth and development is very crucial for them to have a better life in the future.

2. The children who are still studying while working should try their best to strike a balance between working and studying. They should always give time for studying and doing their homework. They should also be made realize that education provides greater opportunities in the future. 3. The children should not lose hope and continue dreaming for their future. They should not be discouraged by their conditions, but rather strive to become better. And instead of having it as a weakness, they should make working their strength towards achieving their goals.


1. The parents should know that even in poverty, there is a way out to success. They should work harder and should have more initiatives to earn more than what they have right now with their work/employment. Maybe parents can have extra incomegenerating initiatives.
2. The parents should practice family planning so they could have the number of children that they can sufficiently support given their limited resources and income. In this way, they cannot only help their family, but the country as well .

3. If their children are working, they should always see to it that they are still guided and taught with good values and moral lessons at home so they will not be influenced easily with vices and bad habits. They should also act as good models to their children and give them the love and protection that they need so they wont be searching for this belongingness in other places and other people that may influence them with bad habits.


1. The local government s should first recognize child labor as a problem lurking around. They may go over the studies that have been conducted to know more about the child labor conditions, or better yet, they should assign troupes that will look around the city to witness and study this societal issue themselves. Afterwhich, they should be able to formulate and strictly implement programs regarding this issue.


Poverty has always been the root cause of child labor. Providing better jobs and livelihood projects for their parents and family is one effective way of addressing the issue on child labor because having enough money will not push children to work at an early age. Hence, the researchers recommend that the local governments should implement more programs for the employment and livelihood of the citizens.

3. Since most of the child laborers do not know their rights as a child, it is recommended that the local government units (LGUs) should also focus on giving child rights lectures, programs, activities, and/or information dissemination.

For the Barangay Offices 1. The barangay offices, as the simplest unit of the state, should be the first one to see firsthand and recognize child labor as a societal concern. With this, they should be able to conduct studies regarding the matter and further decide for programs that suit it best. 2. The barangay should also forward the information that they have regarding child labor to the Local Government Unit (LGU) of their municipality for further investigation and analysis of child labor and to also further address the issue.


1. The PNP should acknowledge the existence of child labor as a problem and not just to wait for complains from the victims or concerned citizens. With this, they may be able to set proper actions that should be taken to address this concern. 2. The PNP, as defenders of the members of society, should operate actions necessary for the protection against the oppression and exploitation of the child laborers.


1. The DOLE, as the primary government agency mandated to promote gainful employment opportunities, should be able to provide better jobs and livelihood projects for the parents of the child laborers. This will help every family to earn income that is sufficient for the family needs.
2. DOLE, if not to eliminate child labor, should at least be able to minimize the number of the children who are working by making sure that they monitor and evaluate the implementation of previous programs that were meant to address this problem. By this, they may be able to see the loopholes of the programs and may be able to replace them with better ones.