PARAWAGAN’S ACTION AGAINST CHILD LABOR IN BARANGAY SAN RAFAEL
The CO Multiversity has also established a CO training program in the field of child labor elimination in partnership with PARAWAGAN, a federation of neighborhood associations affected by quarrying industries in the villages of San Rafael, Rizal (formerly known as Montalban).
The CO work resulted to citizens’ action to close a quarry that was threatening the community, cooperative for credit , livelihood enterprise development, social services and educational and psycho-social support for child labourers and the establishment of the baranggay committee on protection of children(BCPC). The community led BCPC is currently being promoted by the International Labour Organization (ILO)-International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) as a best practice /model to address the child labour issue.
The PARAWAGAN, in transition, towards expanding their network with other neighboring villages, has also been in the process of assuming the over-all responsibility for the management of the federation.
COM has likewise been requested to replicate the CO application in child labour elimination approach in the most hazardous industry employing children, namely, pyrotechnics in the Municipalities of Sta. Maria and Bocaue in Bulacan.
The CO work resulted to citizens’ action to close a quarry that was threatening the community, cooperative for credit , livelihood enterprise development, social services and educational and psycho-social support for child labourers and the establishment of the baranggay committee on protection of children (BCPC). The community led BCPC is currently being promoted by the International Labour Organization (ILO)-International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) as a best practice /model to address the child labour issue.
ACCOMPLISHMENT IN MONTALBAN
PARAWAGAN CONGRESS. The Congress was held on 27 February 2000 at Vice-Mayor Gene Manuel’s resort in Rolling Hills. The venue was provided free of charge for PARAWAGAN. Attended by more than 150 people mostly members of the four local organizations and guests from the local government units, schools, other POs and NGOs in Montalban. At the later part of the program, the First lady of the province of Rizal, Mrs. Nini Ynarez, came Representatives from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) was also there to do their research.
The activity aimed to: (1) organize the four local organizations into a formal federation, (2) elect its officers, (3) ratify its by-laws and constitution and its one-year program of action, and lastly, (4) to get commitment of support from the LGU official s and other guest organizations on the programs of PARAWAGAN. All of the above objectives were achieved after the Congress. Mr. Ricardo Boy Pagdanganan was elected president.
The children through ECHO were part of the whole process of organizing this Congress. From planning-to drafting the by-laws and constitution-to actual congress and to the evaluation and reflection sessions. ECHO president Rollie Macula was elected vice-president for youth and two other children were elected as members of the Board of Directors.
· The LGU officials declared PARAWAGAN as the main PO in Montalban to be consulted and negotiated on the issue of road widening project.
· The mayor approved the project proposal for the convening of all barangay officials of Montalban in an orientation-planning workshop on child labor. This is worth P 20,000.00 and will be charge under the Gender Awareness Development Fund of the Municipal Government.
Barangay Captain Salvador Cruz announced that he would give EEANA two more units of sewing machine that will come from Gov. Ynarez of Rizal. · Mrs. Ynares also promised to help PARAWAGAN in its programs. She said that as far as she knows PARAWAGAN is the only people’s organization in the province with such a kind of programs for children particularly on child labor. This clearly showed how empty is the knowledge of our government officials about the issue of child labor.
A newswriting workshop was held on 14 March and facilitated by Mr. Chris Magno, an editor of a community-based newsletter of Kristong Hari Foundation. There will be follow-up sessions with the children and exposure to the publication office of TAMBULI before they publish another Alingawngaw.
1. A cultural group was formed under ECHO. It was invited to perform during the launching of Women’s Movement for Environment and Youth in the municipal plaza. Mostly government officials and students of Roosevelt High School were present. ECHO utilized the program to express their views of the government’s lack of clear program for the children of Montalban. Speaking in microphone, ECHO president Rollie Macula demanded for an increase of the municipal’s budget for scholarship.
a) The Responsible Parenthood Seminar. Through the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) of San Rafael Elementary School, the BCPC is supporting the series of seminars being conducted by the municipal government under its Gender Awareness for Development program. Parents who are members of PARAWAGAN participated. The seminar in Barangay San Rafael was held last March.
b) A survey questionnaire that was developed by the committee on survey composed by children from ECHO, and barangay health workers is now on pre-testing stage. BCPC through its chair provided funds for printing of the materials after the pre-testing activity. To facilitate more effective and participatory process of data-gathering BCPC sought the assistance of the Institute for Philippine Culture through Ms. Jean Illo. An orientation – workshop for the members of the survey committee is being arranged. The results of the survey will be used primarily to develop a comprehensive children’s program for barangay San Rafael under the BCPC.
c) The BCPC had also provided funds for the establishment of children’s hotline. A telephone line will be installed in its office (PARAWAGAN Office) to receive complaints about child rights violations. The hotline will be connected to other agencies and institutions such as DSWD. Some volunteer members of BCPC will be trained on how to facilitate calls.
d) A Barangay Justice for Children (BJC) was also established. One of the 16 barangay justices was appointed by the barangay council to be BJC. She was Mrs. Othelia Tagapan, a member of PARAWAGAN. She will cater only cases involving children to give focus for the special characteristics of the child. She will be trained on paralegal and counseling.
a) The first agenda of the MCPC in its first meeting was the launching of KIKA or Women’s Movement for Environment and Youth (a movement organized by the wives of Gov. Ynares (Rizal and mayor San Diego. We believe that this is a political preparation for the coming election.
b) After the PARAWAGAN Congress, the mayor agreed to conduct the orientation-planning workshop on child labor and the effective programs for children of Montalban on 10 May 2000. But it was indefinitely postponed after some changes on the ordinance came. The Municipal Council created a Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children. Women (MSWCWF) and their families which the MCPC is sector. Thus, the fund that was alloted to the workshop was frozen by the Council until the MSWCWF is finally organized.
PARAWAGAN, CO MULTIVERSITY and ANAWIM (All members of BCPC in San Rafael) are the official representatives of the NGOs in the Council.
6) Livelihood Projects : TACDA
a) One of the groups of MA Sociology students undertaking their filed study in Montalban selected the Peanut Butter Project of TACDA to be their subject. Their concern is to help the organization evaluate the effectiveness and weaknesses of the project. The result will be presented in their final evaluation with their teacher (Dr. Mary Racelis, CO Multiversity president) April 3rd week. Their activities involved individual interview, focus group discussion and community meetings.
DOLE – REGION 4 through provincial office accepted in principle the proposal of TACDA for additional budget after TACDA’s Officers went to its office in Cainta for negotiation. The fund will be used for the construction of a small building that will house the project.
The sari-sari store of SMAC was audited and evaluated in January. The project although slowly progressing since it is just starting has already reached a net income of P 4,500.00. This was the result of the Basic Accounting Seminar conducted for SMAC members on 27 January.
The location of the store is far from where there are many people (customers) is one of the reasons for its low performance. SMAC officers are now looking for alternative place for its store. But the sari-sari store is a big help for the working families. It provided them regular access to credit for their daily needs. It also helped the people to learn the basic knowledge on operating organizational business. They learn to be accountable to each other and trust one another.
c) EEANA members started their own business (rug-making). They started with individual contributions from some of its members until they were able to collect P 500.00. The amount was enough to start the business. One of its members gave her sewing machine. The other member gave his vacant house. The BCPC contributed two units of second hand sewing machine. Through the endorsement from the mayor and barangay captain, the project was endorsed to the hardware stores and quarry operators in Montalban. These establishments are now regular customers (market) of the project. They also sell rugs in other marketplace in Quezon City. They get their raw materials from the nearby garment factory (Fortune textile). EEANA is drafting project proposal to DOLE to expand their business. They need high speed machines and other equipment.
The role of the CO Multiversity is to give the people the opportunity to test their individual and collective capacity and values to operate small businesses by ensuring that they will own the projects they run. These activities will be complemented by the Micro-finance of Punla. By the time, we hope that at least there are people in the organizations who are familiar in running micro-enterprise.
a) The application for Health cards under Cong. Patricia Sarenas (Lingap para sa Mahirap) funds is being process delegation of women leaders joined Abanse! Pinay in its mobilization during the celebration of Women’s Month on March 8. This helped them to understand the plight of women in our country. In the reflection done after the mobilization, they were able to relate their lives to the stories of other women in that mobilization.
b) The linkage between PARAWAGAN and the BETHEL Christian Church – Rodriguez culminated with a feeding activity of children below 7 years old last 23 January. There were more than 200 children from the three sitios participated. The two organizations agreed to do this feeding activity regularly.
a) PELAP is a community credit and savings mobilization solely for educational purposes of the children. Families are encouraged to save in order to borrow from the funds in case they need money for their children’s education. The parents of children supported by IPEC/ERDA in Montalban with reimbursement of miscellaneous fees agreed to put their individual money to a common fund. This constitute the P 19,200.00 (for 150 elementary and high school) initial fund of PELAP. When it succeeds PELAP will ensure the sustainability of educational services for children even IPEC support ends.
b) Since IPEC has no support for college students we have to source for other funds. In Montalban, we need to support the children who graduated from high school and who would like to continue to college or vocational education. This will break the culture of hopelessness among high school students that after secondary education they will not go back to work in the quarry. This is also to prevent the children to go back in the quarry even if their age do not necessarily comply with the definition of children under child labor program.
Nine high school graduates took up scholarship examination from the Regional Office of TESDA in Cainta, Rizal (Roosevelt College). A review session was conducted two consecutive days before the examination to prepare the children. We hope that they will pass the exam.
The students from Ateneo De Manila University under the Office for Social Concern and Involvement (OSCI) who regularly visiting Montalban as part of their curriculum are starting to raise-funds among Ateneans to support the college program of PARAWAGAN.
· A team-building seminar was held in Infanta, Quezon last March 12-14. It was attended by the newly elected officers of PARAWAGAN. The activity helped them to develop sense of confidence and trust to work with each other given that they come from different villages. This was very true to ECHO who came with three participants. Since they are part (officers) of the federation as well as “children”, sons and daughters of their co-officers”, they raised their concern about the treatment that they want to enjoy with the adults. And that is to treat them as equal, as children who can decide and participate. The issue was resolved.
· The sitio-based training and orientation were conducted in each sitio. The leaders who attended last year’s PO training were the same people who work with the organizers in facilitating the sessions. Some of the sessions conducted are: facilitation and documentation, community organizing principles and process, project proposal making, concept of power. Usually, the sessions are part of the agenda during organizational meetings.
The two students from UPCSWD are now on their final evaluation. The negotiation for geological for geological study on Mt. Parawagan to know how can the people prevent major destruction of the mountain to happen and how far they can go on with the manual quarrying with NIGS (National Institute of Geological Science) is on the process.
Twelve students of Dr. Racelis in UP (MA Sociology) were assigned in Montalban to understand Poverty (their subject) in the context of poor people. As they go about it, they were tasked to help the organization in projects/issues that will identify. The students were divided into four projects. 1) conduct a skills survey among men in the community, 2) help TACDA evaluate their peanut Butter project, 3) develop orientation materials) about Montalban, its people, and the child labor program, and 4) conduct values formation program for children.
The partnership with Dr. Racelis class is very interesting. We have maximized the potentials of the academe. The values formation group has opened the active participation of some working children. They now talk and participate during meetings. ECHO had tapped the expertise of one of the students in publication by asking him to be the resource person – consultant in the publication of their newsletter. A battery of questions were formulated to guide TACDA in the development of a more effective mechanisms to strength their livelihood projects. A list of skills of men is now available which can be used in planning for livelihood programs. And lastly, information material about our child labor program in Montalban based on the experiences of the people and children will soon be published.
A total of forty four students from Ateneo de Manla were immersed in Montalban to understand child labor. This kind of activity is helping both the people and the students. The host families are learning to talk about their situation and the students are learning how to nurture life. It is a venue for advocacy on child labor among the students.
Two batches of Koreans visited Montalban. The first batch were students from a University in Korea who would like to learn the community organizing activities of CO Multiversity. The second group were social development workers from a network of NGOs in Korea who also studying community organizing practice in the Philippines.
a) Global March 2000. The Montalban contigent in the mobilization in the Senate for the ratification of ILO 182 was more than 400 adults and children or a total of 4 loaded buses. We set up photo exhibit in the lobby and some children participated in the activities organized by the secretariat.
b) Children’s Forum/International ?Children’s Film Festival. A hundred children participated in that children’s forum. The President of ECHO WAS ONE OF THE PANELIST DURING THE FORUM. He narrated the stories of children working in the quarrying sites of Montalban. The children learned about the other faces of child labor.
c) ILO 182 Regional Consultation in Laguna. Ten children from ECHO, three PO leaders and the chair of BCPC in San Rafael participated in the consultation-workshop on ILO 182 organized by DOLe Region 4 in Laguna.
d) Last January 15, a consultation-planning workshop with the Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agricukultura (AMA) (Federation of Agricultural Workers) has held at Sta. Maria, Bulacan. AMA is the target partner organization of CO Multiversity in Bulacan. The workship was intended to orient the leadership of AMA about the project on child labor in Bulacan., After the workshop, the partnership was approved. Initial plan of action was also developed before it was ended.
ACCOMPLISHMENT IN BULACAN
With the success of partnership of CO Multiversity with ILO-IPEC on the elimination of Child Labor in quarry site of Montalban, Rizal another project was offered to work on the issue of children working in the pyrotechnics industry in Bulacan.
Consultation-workshop was held with AMA –Bulacan the identified people’s organization to work with. Successive meetings were conducted to finalize the MOA (Memo of Agreement) for partnership. The Bulacan team (Mimi and Evhoy) deployed started doing the social investigation in the areas in Pulong Buhangin.
There are two kinds of child laborers in the fireworks industry of Bulacan One, is the home based child workers which you can easily identify because they are visible in the community. Two, the ones hidden in a private workplace who works with an employer.
Through the process of community organizing, it is the organized group themselves who can easily identify these hidden child workers and invite them to join their group and gradually orient and educate them on their rights as children and as a worker.
Presently, there are identified 11 child workers who works with an employer and they are participating in group discussion initiated by the Youth and Children organization.
The group of AMA (Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura) who is the partner PO of CO Multiversity in Bulacan, has undergone initial orientation workshop on child labor last January 15, 2000 . Since then, series of consultations, meetings and seminars have been conducted with them. In fact, they were able to participate during the mobilization at the Senate for the ratification of ILO 182 last January 17,2000 which is also a celebration of Global March.
Preparatory work on community organizing was started this year in Bulacan . Activities includes awareness raising on child labor issues. This was specifically address to the main partner which was AMA-Bulacan. Consultation workshops, partnership meetings and meeting various barangay officials were made. As a result of these meeting various task forces were formed 13 from Sta. Maria, 5 in Norzagaray, 7 in Bocaue and 6 in San Jose Del Monte. These groups were formed in order to initiate action concerning child labor issues.
AMA was able to form a Task Force on Child Labor for the whole province of Bulacan and it is composed of : 9 leaders of Sta. Maria, Bulacan, 4 – Bocaue, 3-Baliuag, 4-San Jose, 2-Bulacan,Bulacan 1-Plaridel, 1-Marilao, 2-Garay A total of 26 leaders for the whole province of Bulacan.
Among the identified issues in the community is the security of land tenure. 31 families were facing demolition that was petitioned for delay. As an action the families affected made a resolution to negotiate with the owner a “Letter of Intent to Buy”. Through community mobilization the assistance of a legal counsel was provided.
There are two kinds of child labor in the pyrotechnics in Bulacan. The first one are those that are hidden in a private workplace who works with an employer. The other kind are those who are home based.
The partnership with AMA proves to be very effective since they are organized and have a very credible track record even among the people and the LGU. Although there’s still a need to deepen the orientation and level of the organization’s awareness of the issue for them to appreciate the need to eliminate child labor.
There are 135 families initially identified to engaged in home based fireworks industry in the different areas at sitios at Pulong Buhangin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan. We decided to start community organizing work at the river side of Garden Village, Pulong Buhangin, because there about 31 AMA members and their families who are engaged in home based fireworks making. Through the cooperation of this identified small community, we were able to implement the following activities:
10 potential Youth Advocates were formed and have attended the Youth Care Givers Club Training Workshop conducted by CO Multiversity and Narito Munting Puso a group working on Children’s Education on August 26-27, 2000 together with the Youth of Montalban.
Have initially organized a Youth and Children organization called S2K (Samahang Kabataan para sa Kaunlaran). This group are actively participating in:
PO Training together with the AMA leaders and the partner adult organization called SIKAP (Samahan para sa Kaunlaran ng Pilipino). November 25-27, 2000.
Initial meeting has been conducted with the Barangay LGU of Pulong Buhangin, to let them participate in the mapping and community profiling project.
Members of the Children and Youth organization attended and participated the Children’s Month Celebration sponsored by DOLE at Nayong Pilipino.
Conducted First Phase of Cultural Workshop. Cultural Workshop group are formed among the youth. Initial Cultural Workshop on Talent Discover and Creativity has been conducted.
They have undergone PO Training last Nov. 25-27, 2000. PO group (SIKAP) the parents of home based child workers have undergone orientation on the dangers of engaging the children in the fireworks industry.
People’s organization (SIKAP) initiated an informal cooperative group as starting point to develop their livelihood project. They have a trial business which is a small snacks center, where they practice accounting and recording of sales.