In June 1994, the Philippine Government and the International Labour Organization formalized a Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of ILO's International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). The Memorandum required the Philippine government to establish a National Steering Committee for the IPEC programme and a secretariat to assist the committee.
The Department of Labor designated this function to the National Child Labour Committee (NCLC) which was created in 1992, prior to the IPEC programme. The inter-agency partners signed a Joint Statement for a Unified and Intensified Action Against Child Labour in February 1995 that clarified inter-agency roles and responsibilities under a new integrated programme.
In December 1996, the Memorandum was extended until December 2001. And in May 1997, the NCLC approved a new criteria for expanding NGO membership in the National Child Labour Committee.
From its very inception, the IPEC programme has kept its focus on priority groups of children identified in the Philippine-ILO Indicative Framework for Action. Determined during a National Planning Conference on child labour held in July 1994, the priority target groups of children are the victims of trafficking, children in mining and quarrying, home-based industries, those trapped in prostitution, domestic service, in deep sea diving and fishing and in commercial plantation agriculture, including sugar ad vegetable production.
Since its official launch in February 1995, the IPEC Philippine programme has contributed significantly in initiating, energizing and mobilizing action against child labour in the Philippines.
Networking and Alliance building with Government and Non-government Organizations, Trade Unions, Employers Group, the Academe, the Church, private or community organizations intensified in 1996. While organizational orientation and approaches are not the same, the focus on the well- being, the rights, development and empowerment of children remains and collaborative undertakings against child labour, including sharing of technical resources, experiences and insights, have been fruitful.
IPEC's Technical Working Group in the National Steering Committee met regularly despite the changes in the secretariat of the National Child Labour Programme Committee. Wherever possible, IPEC started coordination activities of IPEC partners with the regional, provincial and municipal child labour committees, involving in regular committee work of identifying child workers and referring them to government and private services. Liaison with the Child Labor Project Management Team was also improved, with joint mobilization efforts for common projects. IPEC advisory services were extended to many organizations interested in undertaking child labour work such as church and community networks. IPEC also deepened its collaboration efforts with ILO's tripartite partners in the trade union and employer organizations.
This section on the 1995-1997 ILO-IPEC Philippine Action Programmes provides information on IPEC partners.