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16 August 2013

Younghusband brothers, James and Phil, to attend Lakas-Sipa sa Batang Malaya football clinic

Secretary of Labor and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said she will join on Monday the Younghusband brothers, James and Phil, together with International Labor Organization-Manila Office Director Jeff Lawrence Johnson, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, and other civil society partners in a football clinic for child laborers recently freed from the scourge of child labor.
Lakas-Sipa para sa Batang Malaya, a football clinic for child laborers, which the ILO will spearhead, will be launched on Monday, August 19, 2013, at the Emperador Stadium, McKinley Hill, Taguig City. “I will be there. I urge anti-child labor advocates, even football sports fanatics to join us in this event,” Baldoz happily announced.
“The government earnest campaign against child labor gets an upgrade with this football clinic. The DOLE, together with the International Labor Organization-International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC), in partnership with the Younghusband Football Academy and Chelsea Football Club Soccer School Philippines will give a strong kick to the anti-child labor campaign with the holding of the Lakas-Sipa sa Batang Malaya football clinic,” Baldoz added.
Over 250 child laborers will join the football clinic, along with sponsors, volunteers and media partners. The teams formed during the football clinic will compete in a tournament to be held on October 19, 2013.
Batang Malaya: Child Labor Free Philippines serves as a venue to bring government agencies, members of the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), employers’ and workers’ organizations, civil society, and former child laborers to unite and call for an end to the worst forms of child labor.
In 2012, the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III launched the H.E.L.P. M.E. Convergence Program to intensify the government’s campaign to end the worst forms of child labor by 2016. H.E.L.P. M.E. stands for health, education, livelihood, and prevention, protection, prosecution, monitoring and evaluation.
The H.E.L.P. ME Convergence program is envisioned to contribute to the realization of the country’s ultimate Millennium Development Goal of eradicating poverty through decent work by 2016.
The DOLE is also strongly implementing its Child Labor-Free Barangay Project, a barangay-based strategy to lick child labor by providing parents of child laborers with livelihood assistance so they may keep their children in schools where they belong.
“This is DOLE’s way of helping each family start anew and for their children to live free, happy, and healthy in a safe environment,” said Baldoz who, herself, had visited 30 barangays all over the country last year to jumpstart the project.
The Lakas-Sipa para sa Batang Malaya event will start with the parade of football teams and march against child labor. This will be followed by the symbolic kick “No to Child Labor” by Secretary Baldoz, Ambassador Goldberg, and Director Johnson.
Football superstars James and Phil Younghusband, together with players/trainers of the Chelsea Football Club Soccer School Philippines, will teach the child laborers the basic of football.
Child labor is a serious offense. It deprives children of the chance to play, to study and to live a life with dignity, echoed Baldoz.
ILO member States, including the Philippines, have set the goal of ending the worst forms of child labor by 2016.
In response, the NCLC, with the support of the ILO, initiated the Batang Malaya: Child Labour Free Philippines in 2012 to highlight the plight of child laborers.
This year, the ILO has chosen the “red card “call for support against child labor and raise awareness on hazardous work of children all over the world. In football, a “red card” means a serious offense and the player has to be expelled from the game.
The Lakas-Sipa para sa Batang Malaya event is sponsored by the Landbank of the Philippines, Consuelo Foundation, Wang Videography, Imagine Nation Photography, the Younghusband Football Academy, DOLE Philippines, Inc., SM Cares, SM Supermalls, Accel, ABS-CBN, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Molten, Globe Telecom, Kettle Food Corporation, Megaworld, St. Luke’s Medical Center, United Football League, Gatorade, ILO Manila Staff Union, St. Scholastica’s College, DMCI Homes, University of the Philippines Alpha Sigma Fraternity, International School Manila, San Miguel Foundation, Gardenia, and Amspec.