Daphne de Guzman Culanag, AKA Ate Daphne in project areas, took her oath of office as a representative for non-government organizations in the National Council Against Child Labor (NCACL)

Culanag received USDOL’s 2017 Iqbal Masih Award, recognized for 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. She has also 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 returned to World Vision towards the end of 2019 to be the Project Director of Project ACE.

“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.

The NCACL is tasked to amplify government efforts to protect 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 comprises 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 the 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 from the workers’ sector, employers’ sector, and non-government organizations with programs on child labor.

“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,” congratulated World Vision Philippines National Director Rommel V. Fuerte.

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 launched in September 2020, is currently being implemented in Cagayan de Oro City and Quezon City.

Moreover, memoranda of 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 is 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, with 100 percent of the total costs of the project in the Philippines being financed with federal funds.

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