Project ACE Director takes oath as NGO rep in NCACL

Project Against Child Exploitation (ACE) Director Daphne De Guzman Culanag taking her oath of office before Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Cagayan De Oro City as a representative for non-government organizations (NGO) in the National Council Against Child Labor (NCACL).

Daphne de Guzman Culanag, better known as Ate Daphne in project areas, received USDOL’s 2017 Iqbal Masih Award in recognition of her contributions to reducing child labor in the Philippines. She has been part of crafting legislation for children’s protection from RA7610 to RA 9231 and has worked with World Vision from 2003 to 2016 as Project Director, overseeing all technical and administrative aspects, for all three phases of the ABK initiative. She came back to World Vision towards the end of 2019 to be the Project Director of Project ACE.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the NGO sector in the council. This appointment is crucial in strategically reinforcing World Vision and Project ACE’s support to government in addressing the worst forms of child labor, including the online sexual exploitation of children, and violations of acceptable conditions of work. I look forward to meaningful exchanges and bringing in more stories from the ground so we can help the government craft more targeted policies and programs for our people especially for the children to ensure a brighter future ahead of them,” said Culanag.

World Vision Philippines National Director Rommel V. Fuerte likewise expressed his compliments and support to the recently-appointed official.

“World Vision is honored to be part of significant milestones for the protection of the rights of children and other vulnerable sectors. Congratulations to Project ACE’s Project Director Daphne Culanag, we are so proud of you. With the leadership of DOLE through Hon. Secretary Bello III, and in collaboration with all members of the NCACL, we pray for continued wisdom and strength as we all help bring hope, joy and justice for all children,” Fuerte said.

The NCACL was created under Executive Order (EO) No. 92 issued on September 17, 2019, and is tasked to amplify government efforts for the protection of the rights of vulnerable sectors, especially the children, strengthen related institutional mechanisms, and establish further measures to contribute to the prevention, reduction, and elimination of any form of child labor.

The NCACL is composed of relevant government agencies as members, with the DOLE as chair and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as co-chair. Council members are composed of Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippine Information Agency, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), National Youth Commission, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Philippine Statistics Authority, Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation, and the National Anti-Poverty Commission-Basic Sector on Children. The EO is also mandated to include two representatives each from the workers’ sector, employers’ sector, and non-government organizations with programs on child labor.

Project ACE is World Vision’s advocacy to support the Philippine government’s effort to address the worst forms of child labor (WFCL), including online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) and violations of acceptable conditions of work (ACW) for children. The Project, which officially started in October 2019 and was launched in September 2020, is currently being implemented in Cagayan de Oro City and Quezon City.

Moreover, memoranda of the agreement have been signed with the CWC, DSWD, DOJ, PNP, and the local governments of Quezon City and Cagayan de Oro City, which affirms the commitment of Project ACE in partnering with the government to carry out programs and activities zeroing in on the WCFL and OSEC.

Funding for Project ACE is provided by the United States Department of Labor under cooperative agreement number IL 34007-19-75-K. 100 percent of the total costs of the project in the Philippines is financed with federal funds.

Written by Village Connect

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