EMPLOYERS of child actors and child actresses or entertainers need to secure first a permit from the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) before engaging the young talents in gainful activities.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd on Friday issued Department Circular 2, setting guidelines on the issuance of worker permit for children below 15 years of age who are engaged in public entertainment or information.
Bello said that generally, the law prohibits the employment of children below 15 years of age, except when a child works directly under the sole responsibility of his/her parents or legal guardian and where only members of his/her family are employed; or where a child’s employment or participation in public entertainment or information is essential.
“In said exceptional cases, the employer shall first secure a work permit from the DoLE before engaging the services of the child,” he added.
DoLE Department Order 65-04 defines public entertainment or information 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.”
Bello said even if a permit has been issued, it is still subject to certain limitations as provided for by Republic Act (RA) 9231, which provides that a child below 15 years of age may be allowed to work for not more than four hours in any given day and not more than 20 hours a week.
A child is not also allowed to work between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
“When a child’s performance is scheduled beyond 8 p.m. … the television network may tape it prior to the live broadcast and play it at the scheduled time,” the guidelines said.
The working child permit application shall be filed by the employer, parent or legal guardian at the DoLE regional/provincial/field office having jurisdiction over the workplace of the child at least three days prior to the shooting/taping/event.
Application should bear the signature of the employer and should be countersigned by an authorized network representative in the case of television.
It shall also include a copy of the employment contract of the child, stating his/her role, the duration of the child’s participation, salary or compensation, among others.
The contract shall also indicate if the child would receive due remuneration for appearances or guestings to promote a product, show or film, and include provisions stating the employer’s compliance with child protection laws.
Also required is a medical certificate issued by a licensed physician for the working child.
The certificate should also contain the full name and signature of the physician and his/her license number.
The guidelines shall take effect on January 1, 2018.
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL