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SPECIAL RELEASE: Working Children and Child Labor Situation in the Philippines and CALABARZON

Release Date: January 28, 2022
Reference Number: 2022-0400-SR02
Children 5 to 17 Years Old
 
Number of children 5 to 17 years old was highest in CALABARZON
 
Across the regions, CALABARZON recorded the largest population of children 5 to 17 years old estimated at about 4.14 and 4.22 million as of October 2019 and October 2020, respectively. National Capital Region and Central Luzon got the 2nd and 3rd rank in terms of the number of children 5 to 17 years old. On the other hand, the Cordillera Administrative Region with 527 thousand had the lowest population of children 5 to 17 years old during the same period.
 
Figure 1. Total Number of Children 5 to 17 Years Old by Region:
October 2019 and October 2020
(in millions)
Based on the 2015-based Population Projections
Source: PSA, October 2019 and October 2020 LFS
 
 
In 2020, total number of children 5 to 17 years old in the Philippines was estimated at 31.2 million. The share of the regional total was at 13.5 percent, which means that about nearly 14 in every 100 children 5 to 17 years resided in the region.
 
Figure 2. Percent Distribution of Children 5 to 17 Years Old by Region:
October 2020
 
 
The Working Children
 
Working children refers to population aged 5 to 17 years who worked for at least one hour during the past 12 months prior to the survey.  
 
In the Philippines, working children was higher among boys compared to the girls. Of the 872 thousand working children in 2020, 581 thousand were boys while 291 thousand were girls. Also, majority of the working children belonged to age group 15 to 17 years of age accounting for 67.4 percent and 68.9 percent of the total working children in 2019 and 2020, respectively. By industry group, in 2020, most of the working children were registered in the Agriculture sector, followed by the Services sector and Industry sector. (Table 1)
 
Working children in the region was at 1.9 percent
 
Of the estimated 4.2 million children 5 to 17 years old in CALABARZON for the year 2020, 78 thousand or 1.9 percent were working. This was lower than the proportion in 2019 which was estimated at 2.5 percent. (Summary statistics)
 
For the Philippines, though not shown, the proportion of working children 5 to 17 years old in 2020 (2.8 percent) was also lower than the proportion in 2019 (3.4 percent).
 
For every 100 hundred working children in the country, in 2020, around nine (9.0%) working children resided in CALABARZON.  The highest number of working children resided in Northern Mindanao (12.4 percent) and Bicol Region (11.1 percent).
           
Figure 4. Percent Distribution of Working Children by region:
October 2020
Note: Details may not add up to total due to rounding
Based on the 2015-based Population Projections
Source: PSA, October 2020 LFS
 
 
Child laborers in CALABARZON increased in 2020
 
The total number of working children considered engaged in child labor in 2020 was estimated at about 597 thousand in the Philippines.  For the region, children engaged in child labor was about 45 thousand.  
 
While the number of child laborers in the country declined from 640 thousand in 2019 to around 597 thousand in 2020, child laborers in the region increased by 8.9 percent (from 41.4 thousand in 2019 to 45.1 thousand in 2020).
 
More than half (57.6 percent) of the working children in the region were engaged in child labor in 2020. This was higher than the estimate of 40.1 percent in 2019.
 
Child laborers are children 5 to 17 years of age engaged in hazardous work identified in the DOLE Administrative Order No. 149 or long working hours only. Meanwhile, hazardous labor or work involves exposure to environmental hazards such as physical hazards (e.g., noise, temperature or humidity, slip, trip of fall hazards, etc.), chemical hazards (e.g. dust, mist, fumes or vapor, liquid, etc.) and biological hazards (e.g. bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic, etc.)
 
SUMMARY STATISTICS OF WORKING CHILDREN IN CALABARZON:
2019 AND 2020
 
2019
2020
Population 5-17 Years Old ('000)
4,141.4
4,218.8
 
 
 
Working Children 5 to 17 Years Old (‘000)
103.3
78.3
Proportion of Working Children 5 to 17 Years Old (%)
2.5
1.9
Child Laborers (‘000)
41.4
45.1
Proportion of Child Laborers to Total Working Children (%)
40.1
57.6
 
 
Highlights
  • The population of children aged 5 to 17 years old in 2020 in the region was estimated at 4.2 thousand. This was higher than the total number of children 5 to 17 years of age in 2019 at 4.1 thousand.
  • Working children in 2020 was estimated at 1.9 percent of the 4.2 thousand children 5 to 17 years old. This was lower than the estimate of 2.5 percent in 2019.
  • Of the 78.3 thousand working children in 2020, 45.1 thousand or 57.6 percent were considered as child laborers.
 
Table 1. Total Number of Working Children 5 to 17 Years Old and Percent Distribution, by Sex, by Age Group, by Broad Industry Group,
Philippines: October 2019 and October 2020
Sex/Age Group/Industry
2019
2020
Estimate (in '000)
 
 
 
Working Children 5 to 17 Years Old
1,046.5
872.3
 
 
 
  Sex
 
 
Male
686.8
581.5
Female
359.7
290.8
 
 
 
  Age Group
 
 
  5 - 14
341.2
271.3
15 - 17
705.3
601
 
 
 
  Broad Industry Group
 
 
Agriculture
460.5
413.6
Industry
136.7
79.8
Services
449.3
379
 
 
 
(sgd.)
CHARITO C. ARMONIA
Regional Director
 
BFP/COB/JGM
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