Last May 26, 2018, the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) organized a validation presentation and consultation forum for its research “Policy Analysis on the Issuance of Work Permit for Children in the Theater Industry based on Republic Act 9231” in Hotel Jen, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

The research by Tecelyn B. Maramag was aimed at assessing the relevance of RA 9231 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations under DO 65-04 relative to the prescribed working hours for children engaged in the theater industry.

Under RA 9231, “a child below fifteen (15) years of age may be allowed to work for not more than twenty (20) hours a week, provided that the work shall not be more than four (4) hours at any given day; (2) A child fifteen (15) years of age but below eighteen (18) shall not be allowed to work for more than eight (8) hours a day, and in no case beyond forty (40) hours a week; and (3) No child below fifteen (15) years of age shall be allowed to work between eight o’clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning of the following day and no child fifteen (15) years of age but below eighteen (18) shall be allowed to work between ten o’clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning of the following day.”

The research cited that, locally, matinee performances usually start at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, while evening performances usually start at 8 in the evening, with each performance averaging 2-3 hours. The study recommends the amendment of RA 9231 for clarification and expansion of scope and limitations as to the performing hours of children engaged in the theater industry, citing the equal protection clause of the Philippine Constitution. It also recommended for the use of section 25 of its IRR covering industry guidelines and self-policing mechanisms.

“We look forward to the possible adoption of the policy recommendations suggested in this study, working together as partners to better bridge these gaps and open further avenues for discussions on other labor-related concerns from the theater industry. We hope to arrive at and implement sustainable policy solutions that will provide a protective mantle that will look after the needs of our young theater artists,” said  Department of Labor and Employment Assistant Secretary Ma. Gloria A. Tango who delivered the welcome remarks on behalf of Assistant Secretary Alex V. Avila.

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) is the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment. For more information about ILS products and services, please visit: http://ilsdole.gov.ph or call Advocacy and Publications Division at tel.no. 527-3590