Cesar Montano Aims To Reduce Child Labor

MANILA- In a radio interview last May 2, 2007, Team Unity Senatorial Bet Cesar Montano expressed his sentiments against child labor which has become rampant in the Philippines. Asked of the effect that child labor brings to a child, Montano said, “Child Labor steals the childhood from a child, which is a vital part of growing up. It also brings the child away from education, which can have adverse effects on his future”, he remarked. Lastly, he said that child labor exposes a child to hazardous environments like mines, quarries and even ‘whore houses’ which may either directly take his or her life or take his or her future. He said that his movie Muro Ami opened his eyes on this issue.

“The ties within a Filipino family is so strong that even children do work to help fight their state of poverty and ease their parents of workload”, Montano added, saying that poverty and culture are to blame for child labor. He also said that in a poor country like the Philippines, a child working for the sake of the family is considered ‘normal and acceptable’, but expressed the need to change such a perception.

If elected in the Senate, Montano said that he will no longer tamper with the existing laws on child labor, Republic Act 7610 and RA 7658, since he deems that the two are already sufficient.  “It is up to the executive departments to implement those laws properly”, he added. 

 

He said he would rather attack what he believes is the source of child labor- poverty.  “If elected in the Senate, I will attack the reasons for child labor.  I will help alleviate poverty and hasten industry development by crating new laws or putting more money in their budget”, Montano said.  He argued that if the parents work in a stable, well-paying job, then the children no longer have to work.  They can focus on the things where they should- play and studying.

 

           Another thing he said he can do is to perform strict scrutiny on the offices in the executive tasked to handle the problem.  He said that check and balance over the executive branch is part of the job of a senator, thus he will make sure that the programs against child labor are within their agenda.  Montano also said that he will make sure that there is a good system in implementing the law, especially in the local level, to make sure that the programs are well implemented.

In 2001, there are about four (4) million child laborers aged five (5) to 17 in the Philippines, 60% or 2.4 million of which work in hazardous environments.

19 responses to “Cesar Montano Aims To Reduce Child Labor

  1. Really… I never heard him objecting to the use of child actors and actresses. I never heard him object to showbiz gimmicks of enticing young children to join contests where they are made fun of by noontime show hosts.

    What does he have to say about young kids wearing skimpy outfits and gyrating a la sex bomb dancers?

    There are many ways of defining “hazardous.” Showbiz hazards especially on the emotional and moral development of children should be addressed too.

  2. Hi Connie, having to use child actors/actresses are different from using them as hard laborers. Those that are exposed in extreme situations like mining, garbage collection, child pornography, etc. What you mentioned in your post is also a valid but a separate issue altogether. But come to think of it, how will we ever create a movie or a commercial even without having to cast children?

    We are pressed with much bigger issues on children’s welfare than skimpy clothes or entertainment gimmickry. We do believe we should focus more on that issue first.

    On a different perspective, entertainment business, if used in the right way could also bring forth new hope for most of our less fortunate children. One perfect example is Rebecca, remember her from Muro-Ami? The child who won best child actress? She was never heard of before, never had any formal training on acting or drama. That is because she used to dive for shells and sell them to make a living. She was discovered through that film, and right now she is in college at Letran on a scholarship grant. It was through that movie, and it was through Cesar Montano’s vision that helped her get into where she is right now.

    We are a country full of talents. God blessed us with this. We have seen worldwide the boom of discoveries from our race. I for one would rather see a child earn a living through entertainment (as long as it is not pornographic in nature) rather than see one rummaging through garbage just to get a day’s meal. As mentioned awhile ago, we are pressed with much bigger issues. Cesar’s focus is there.

  3. Artemio De La Cruz

    The exploitation of young boys and girls in international sex trade is a dirty secret in Philippines’ tourism industry particularly the sexual tourism. There’s a direct economic link between sexual tourism and the exploitation of developing countries by multinational corporations based in industrial capitalist countries such as the United States, Germany and Japan. Sexual tours of developing countries are organized for North American, European, Japanese and Taiwanese businessmen. These tours have been a booming business for the past twenty years, despite the very real dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS. What’s the stand of Team Montano? Any solutions?

  4. Artemio De La Cruz

    The underground economy in the Philippines like the sampaguita child vendors, palamig, cigarillo and others is not regulated. Child labor is fact of life in depressed areas in Metro Manila and other urban areas as means of survival. Poor parents and children have no choice and face the realities in life. Are you planning to regulate child exploitation in UG economy?

  5. Pablo B. Lazaro

    RE: “He said he would rather attack what he believes is the source of child labor- poverty. “If elected in the Senate, I will attack the reasons for child labor. I will help alleviate poverty and hasten industry development by crating new laws or putting more money in their budget”, Montano said. He argued that if the parents work in a stable, well-paying job, then the children no longer have to work. They can focus on the things where they should- play and studying.”

    This is a tall order to fight the root causes of poverty in the Philippines. This is the same battlecry by politicos during election period. Nothing substantial happens after the election.

  6. To Artemio: Child pornography is not only rampant in our country, it is a problem that we face globally. Why is it that we always try to put our country down? Yes that is also a problem for us, but I would like to disagree that it is something that we need to address due to its gravity. I strongly believe that it is an isolated problem. I do believe that we still live in a country where morals and spirituality still dominate our reasoning.

    With regards to UG, sir please read this part of his advocacy, “e said he would rather attack what he believes is the source of child labor- poverty. “If elected in the Senate, I will attack the reasons for child labor. I will help alleviate poverty and hasten industry development by crating new laws or putting more money in their budget”, Montano said. He argued that if the parents work in a stable, well-paying job, then the children no longer have to work. They can focus on the things where they should- play and studying.” I hope that answers your question.

  7. To Pablo: Yes it may be tall order, and yes it may have been a battlecry by most politicians. But we think it can work, and we have not been given a chance to do it yet. That is why Cesar Montano is running. He knows how to solve it, and he knows he can do it. He believes that he will succeed where others failed. We will not know unless we try right? This is good intention put into action.

  8. Am a Boholano. Cesar Montano will never be able
    to do anything without the co-operations of other
    influential Pilipinos.Yes everything of what you wrote here are perfect, however , co-operation is necessary.I read a report before that twenty one billion pesos were released to help Mindanao. it was questioned what happened to the money and a very sad answer was only twelve billions were received what happened to the rest . Co-operation is necessary to make Cesar Montano does of what he want to get done.It will never happen among Pilipinos.

  9. I second the questions and concerns of Artemio De La Cruz. I echo his question – what is your solution to the problems you have indicated under your agenda? HOW will you address the issues? HOW will you implement your changes?

    You say “I will attack the reasons for child labor.” – HOW will you do this?

    You say “I will help alleviate poverty and hasten industry development by crating new laws or putting more money in their budget” – HOW will you put more money in their budget? HOW will you start to create laws? What are these laws you are thinking of creating? HOW will you implement these laws?

    Im afraid your response and stand on child pornography is disappointing, sad at worst. By saying “strongly believe that it is an isolated problem” – you have just lost my vote. Mine and a lot of others.

  10. Artemio De La Cruz

    Team Montano: I beg to disagree. Sexual tourism is NOT an isolated issue particularly child exploitation. What the heck the Taiwanese are doing in Fort Ilocandia? Don’t tell me they are at the Fort for gambling alone. No way Jose’! It’s a package deal. If they want big time casinos, well, they can go to Macau or Hong Kong. I’m not talking about child pornography.

  11. Artemio De La Cruz

    I’m confused. Are you advocating a welfare state to fight poverty?

  12. To Gregorio: Yes we agree that we need everybody’s cooperation. And yes it seems to be hopeless to get it done with the kind of mindset that most Filipinos have nowadays. But we dont like to give up. Others may have been given a chance already but failed. Now Cesar Montano would like to give it a shot. We want to join in on the fight. We should not give up, we owe it to the next generation.

  13. To ApplesH: I will try to break down your comment and answer them point by point.
    [I second the questions and concerns of Artemio De La Cruz. I echo his question – what is your solution to the problems you have indicated under your agenda? HOW will you address the issues? HOW will you implement your changes?
    You say “I will attack the reasons for child labor.” – HOW will you do this?
    You say “I will help alleviate poverty and hasten industry development by crating new laws or putting more money in their budget” – HOW will you put more money in their budget? HOW will you start to create laws? What are these laws you are thinking of creating? HOW will you implement these laws?]

    What we have is a an overall direction and goal for our country. As you may well know, we are starting from scratch, so we only know a bit about the processes in government. But we do believe that what Cesar Montano lack in experience and know-hows will be compensated with his passion, determination and drive to succeed backed up by his solid character and unwavering integrity plus his faith that He who is in him is stronger than he who is in the world.
    But for now you must understand that our main goal right now is for Cesar Montano to win a seat in the senate. Our focus today up to May 13 is there. It would be useless to know the answers to all of your questions and not be able to implement them dont you think? What is important is that we have a foundation that we would start from. We will cross the bridge when we get there.

    [Im afraid your response and stand on child pornography is disappointing, sad at worst. By saying “strongly believe that it is an isolated problem” – you have just lost my vote. Mine and a lot of others.]

    It is an isolated problem, do you have them in your city? You didnt get our point about it, why do we always try to put down our country? Yes this may be happening here and yes it is a sad reality, but I dont think that we are a nation of perverts and sickos. It is a problem that needs to be dealt with, and we have separate departments in government that are entasked to resolve such issues. We dont need a senator to address such issues. Let them do their jobs.
    Lastly, it is sad that we wouldnt be able to count for your vote. But as I have seen in your other blogs, it seems that we never lost your vote because of our comment above, we never had your vote in the first place. But we accept the fact that we can never really win you all. No one can. It is a fact that we are very well aware of. Our main goal here is to inform you of what our candidate Cesar Montano is all about. You may want to belive it or not, that is your prerogative. At that, we rest our case.

  14. To Artemio:[What the heck the Taiwanese are doing in Fort Ilocandia? Don’t tell me they are at the Fort for gambling alone. No way Jose’! It’s a package deal. If they want big time casinos, well, they can go to Macau or Hong Kong. I’m not talking about child pornography.]

    As I have said to ApplesH we have separate government departments that should look into it and solve it. Please dont tell me that all of the Taiwanese who goes to Fort Ilocandia are looking for children to have sex with. I said it is an isolated incident because I truly believe that our country still is one of the countries in Asia (if not the whole wordl) whose family structure is very intact. We are a country who still values so much the welfare of our children. There may be some who resort to sick means just to get through with life, but they are a very small percentage.

    [I’m confused. Are you advocating a welfare state to fight poverty?]

    I am also confused, where did you get that idea? Try to read all of Cesar Montano’s advocacies. All of them have one thing in common. We need to get our hands dirty (means we need to work for it, not only the government but also the recipients) to achieve all of them.

  15. Give Cesar a chance po. We can theorize or speculate what we need to do to solve our country’s
    problem but we will never really know his performance until he is in the senate.

    I know we are all looking for credentials and competence. That is why many of us are critical.

    I believe that is a good thing.

    Pero we will never know how a person will perform until we give him a chance.

    There are lots of people in our government who have lots of credentials and their resume are so high up there that it would make us dizzy.

    But one thing missing from them is Good Intentions. They have the credentials but they lack good intentions.

    I believe Cesar have what they lack. So I have decided to give him a chance. If he performs well in the senate then good.

    If he does badly then I will never vote for him again if he runs for re-election.

    But right now I’m giving him a chance.

    -Anthony

  16. the problem with us filipinos is that we never unite on something or someone. we are always complaining, always dragging ourselves down. if we see hope, we question it. we say we abhor corruption and yet we support the corrupt people. we say we want pagbabago but we keep believing lying politicians over and over again. has it ever crossed your minds that maybe all these are happening because we failed to support the right people, because we are too proud to agree with each other and too lazy to know a person who wants pagbabago like us? come to think of it, we live in a democratic country and yet we do nothing…..by the people, for the people. let’s claim our right and do something that wouldn’t only do good for you but for all of us.

  17. Oh…. so hard laborers are exploitative but the sexualization of children in showbiz is not??? Very hypocritical. Very discriminatory.

    Who are you anyway? Why are you answering on behalf of Cesar Montano? How the hell do we know that your words are his? Or are you planning to spoon feed him with all the answers?

  18. To Connie:
    I went back again to my answer to your post to see if I wrote or implied that sexualization of children in showbiz is not exploitative. As far as the post is concerned, it was never stated there nor implied. On the contrary what I wrote was this:

    “What you mentioned in your post is also a valid but a separate issue altogether.”

    and this:

    “We are pressed with much bigger issues on children’s welfare than skimpy clothes or entertainment gimmickry. We do believe we should focus more on that issue first.”

    Issues should be dealt with by the level of its urgency and gravity, and not because of affiliation or personal involvement. That is what you call prioritization. Children are dying due to child labor and you want us to condemn children’s pageants on noontime shows? Where’s the hypocrisy and discrimination there?

    [Who are you anyway? Why are you answering on behalf of Cesar Montano? How the hell do we know that your words are his? Or are you planning to spoon feed him with all the answers?]

    I am one of his spokesperson. If you read my replies, they never veered away from what was originally said by Cesar Montano through his press releases and advocacies. I just expound on them so that your questions can be answered. Spoon feed him with all the answers? I need not to, his ideas on issues such as this are overflowing already. Have you read all the press releases? They are all his. We are just merely showing them to those who would want to see what he is all about.

  19. In other countries like the USA, and some European countries, the government provides temporary shelter and free meals for the less fortunate people to prevent crimes and vagrancies.
    And married couples are given monthly allowances if they foster orphaned children. These are some ways to protect children from sex slavery and from illegal child labor.
    Could this be implemented in our country too?

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