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LABOR CODE PROVISIONS ON YOUNG WORKERS Book III, Title III, Chapter II- Employment of Minors

  • ART. 137. Minimum Employable Age. – (a) No child below fifteen (15) years of age shall be employed, except when he works directly under the sole responsibility of his parents or guardian, and his employment does not in any way interfere with his schooling. (b) Any person between fifteen (15) and eighteen (18) years of age may be employed for such number of hours and such periods of the day as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in appropriate regulations. (c) The foregoing provisions shall in no case allow the employment of a person below eighteen (18) years of age in an undertaking which is hazardous or deleterious in nature as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
  • ART. 138. Prohibition Against Child Discrimination. –  No employer shall discriminate against any person in respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his age.

 

LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENTS

Republic Act No. 9231 (An Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child, Amending for this Purpose Republic Act No. 7610, as amended, otherwise known as the "Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act") was signed into law on 19 December 2013. It provides for special protection to children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination, and other conditions prejudicial to their development including child labor and its worst forms. The law provides for minimum employable age; hours of work of a working child; prohibition on the engagement of children in worst forms of child labor; and provides administrative and criminal sanctions for violations.

 

OTHER RELATED LAWS AND ISSUANCES

LAWS

ISSUANCES

  • DOLE Department Advisory No. 01-08 - Employment of Youth Aged 15 to Less than 18 Years
  • Department Circular No. 2, Series of 2017 (Guidelines on the Issuance of Work Permit for Children Below 15 Years of Age Engaged in Public Entertainment or Information) issued on 30 October 2017 aims to guide the DOLE Regional/Provincial/Field Offices on the issuance of Working Child Permit pursuant to Republic Act No. 9231. It clarified who are covered by the working child permit requirement, hours of work, validity of the permit, and application process, among others. Department Order No. 2, Series of 2018 amended the Guidelines.

  • Department Order No. 159, Series of 2016 (Guidelines for the Employment of Migratory Sugarcane Workers) issued on 22 June 2016 prescribes standards to be followed in hiring migratory sugarcane workers. The Guidelines provides, among others, the requirements for the issuance of authority to hire before employers and/or contractors may be allowed to hire and/or transport these workers. It includes a provision on prohibition against child labor.
  • Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2017 (Guidance to Host Establishments in Ensuring Safe Workplaces for Senior High School Students under Work Immersion Program) issued on 14 July 2017 provides that senior high school students between 15 and 18 years of age shall not be exposed to hazardous materials and environments and shall not be required to undergo work immersion between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day. The Work Immersion Program is a component of the K to 12 Basic Education Program pursuant to Republic Act No. 10533 (Enhanced Basic Education Act) which aims to provide senior high school students with opportunities to become familiar with the workplace, for employment simulation, and to apply their competence in areas of specialization/applied subjects in authentic work environments necessary in preparing them for curriculum exits (i.e. higher education, employment, middle-skills development, and entrepreneurship).

  • Department Order No. 173, Series of 2017 (Revised Guidelines in the Implementation of the Department of Labor and Employment Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Programs) issued on 13 February 2017 provides that beneficiaries of livelihood programs of the DOLE should not allow their children to be engaged in child labor.
  • Department Order No. 183, Series of 2017 (Revised Rules on the Administration and Enforcement of Labor Laws Pursuant to Article 128 of the Labor Code, as Renumbered) issued on 3 October 2017 reiterates that among the priority establishments and workplaces in the conduct of routine inspection are those employing children. Routine inspection refers to the process of evaluating compliance with labor laws and social legislations jointly undertaken by the labor inspector and the representatives of the employers and the employees using the prescribed inspection checklist.

  • Department Order No. 175, Series of 2017 (Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 10917 Amending for the Purpose Republic Acts 9547 and 7323, Otherwise Known as the Special Program for Employment of Students) on 21 March 2017 provides that SPES beneficiaries shall not be engaged in any hazardous work or undertaking. It also provides that the hours of work of SPES beneficiaries shall not be more than 8 hours a day nor more than 40 hours a week and they shall not be required to work from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. of the following day which is consistent with Republic Act No. 9231.
  • Department Order No. 156, Series of 2016 (Rules and Regulations Governing the Working and Living Conditions of Fishers on Board Fishing Vessels Engaged in Commercial Fishing Operation) issued on 25 May 2016 provides that fishing vessel owners engaged in child labor and forced labor shall be penalized pursuant to appropriate provisions of the Revised Penal Code, Republic Act No. 7610, Republic Act No. 7658, Republic Act No. 9208, Republic Act No. 9231 and Republic Act No. 10364.
  • Department Order No. 149, Series of 2016 (Guidelines in Assessing and Determining Hazardous Work in the Employment of Persons Below 18 Years of Age) issued on 15 February 2016 enumerates the different work and activities declared hazardous for persons below 18 years of age using the industry classification under the Philippine Standard Industrial Classification and the occupational classification under the Philippine Standard Occupational Classification. It provides that social partners such as labor organizations, federations, employers’ organizations and other non-government organizations will be tapped to assist the DOLE in the dissemination and in monitoring the implementation of the Guidelines. Department Order No. 149, Series of 2016 supersedes Department Order No. 4, Series of 1999 (Hazardous Work and Activities to Persons Below 18 Years of Age). Department Order No. 149-A, Series of 2017 amended the Guidelines particularly work and activities under Farmers and Other Plant Growers and Animal Producers occupational classifications.
  • Department Order No. 141, Series of 2014 (Revised Rules and Regulations Governing Recruitment and Placement for Local Employment) issued on 20 November 2014 classified recruitment and placement of workers in violation of anti-child labor laws as a serious offense with an imposable penalty of cancellation of license/authority to recruit of private employment agencies.
  • Department Order No. 131-B, Series of 2016 (Revised Rules on Labor Laws Compliance System) issued on 30 May 2016 reiterates that among the priority establishments and workplaces in the conduct of joint assessment are those employing children. Joint assessment refers to the process of evaluating compliance with labor laws and social legislations jointly undertaken by the labor laws compliance officer and the representatives of the employers and the employees using the prescribed assessment checklist.
  • Department Circular No. 2, Series of 2012 (Adopting the Manual of Procedures in Handling Complaints on Trafficking in Persons, Illegal Recruitment and Child Labor) issued on 10 May 2012 serves as the standard operating procedure to be used by the DOLE Regional/Field Offices in implementing the relevant provisions of the Labor Code, Republic Act No. 9231, Republic Act No. 9208, Republic Act No. 10002 and other related laws to achieve an organized and effective management of cases on trafficking in persons, illegal recruitment and child labor.

 

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