DOLE issues new guidelines on employment of minors in public entertainment

The Department of Labor and Employment has released the new guidelines on the issuance of work permits for minors engaged in public entertainment or information related projects.

The guidelines, signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on October 30, shall take effect on 01 January 2018. Public entertainment or information under Department Order No. 65-04 is defined as “Artistic, literary, and cultural performances for television show, radio program, cinema or film, theater, commercial advertisement, public relations activities or campaigns, print materials, internet and other media’”.

Under Republic Act No. 9231, children below the age of 15 are not allowed to be employed in any public or private establishment except when they work directly under the sole responsibility of their parents or guardian or when their participation in public entertainment or public information is essential. In any of the exceptions, the employer, parent or guardian should first secure working child permit from DOLE before engaging the services of the child.

In Department Circular No. 2, a Working Child Permit is required if the child will be engaged in public entertainment or information, whether local or overseas, and regardless of the child’s role in a project. A permit is also needed if the child will be featured in documentary materials unless it is a school-related project; and will be engaged as regular extra as part of a crowd and is included in the script or storyboard. The said permit is also required for a foreign-child national who will be engaged in public entertainment in the Philippines. RA 9231 limits children’s work time to not more than four hours in any given day and not more than 20 hours a week. The working child is not allowed to work between 8 pm and 6 am of the following day.

Under DO 65-04, the Working Child Permit application shall be filed by the employer, parent or legal guardian at the DOLE Field Offices (FOs) having jurisdiction over the workplace of the child at least three days prior to the shooting, taping, and event. The documentary requirements should also include the contract stating the employer’s compliance to child protection laws.

The DOLE Regional, Provincial or Field Office shall also conduct an orientation on the salient features of Republic Act No. 9231 to the child’s parents or guardian and employer prior to the release of the Working Child Permit. The validity of the permit will be based on the employment contract and should not exceed to one year. (Read more: DOLE/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR,