Estimated Number of Working Children 5 to 17 Years Old Who Worked During The Past Week Was 3.3 Million (Final Results of the 2011 Survey on Children)

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Based on the final results of the 2011 SOC, the estimated number of children aged 5 to 17 years who worked for at least one hour during the past week in October 2011 was 3.3 million.  They accounted for 12.4 percent of the estimated 26.6 million children 5 to 17 years old in the country (Table 1).
Of the 17 administrative regions, fourteen had at least one working children in every ten children.   Northern Mindanao had the highest proportion at 22.1 percent while the  National Capital Region had the lowest at 5.4 percent. 


The working boys (62.9%) outnumbered the working girls (37.1%) [Table 2].  As to age group, 53.2 percent of the working children were 15 to 17 years old, 38.0 percent were 10 to 14 years old and 8.8 percent were 5 to 9 years of age. 
The number of working children considered as engaged in child labor as defined by Republic Act No. 9231 was estimated at 2.1 million or 63.3 percent of the 3.3 million children 5 to 17 years old who worked during the week prior to the survey (Table 2).  More than half of these children in child labor (58.3%) belonged to age group 15 to 17 years who were part of the labor force population.  Also, more than half of the working children engaged in child labor (58.4%) were in the agriculture sector (Table 3).
Those in hazardous child labor was estimated at 2.0 million or 61.9 percent of the total working children.  Whereas, those in other child labor (49 thousand), that is, those children in the age group 5 to 14 years who worked in excess of the allowable work hours comprised 1.5 percent of the working children 5 to 17 years old. 
Across regions, Central Luzon (10.5%) and Bicol Region (10.4%) had the largest share of the country’s child labor population (Table 2).   Large shares were also observed in Northern Mindanao (8.5%), CALABARZON (8.3%) and Western Visayas (8.2%) where the highest proportions of female child laborers were reported - ranging from 8.6 percent to 10.2 percent of the total female children engaged in child labor.
As to school attendance, approximately 2.1 million working children 5 to 17 years old  had attended school during the current school year (SY 2011-2012) [Table 4].  They comprised 64.6 percent the total working children aged 5 to17 years old.  There were more working boys (1.3 million or 58.8%) than girls (0.9 million or 41.2%) who had attended school.  Among age groups, nearly half (49.4%) of those who had attended school were in age group 10 to 14 years.


The 2011 Survey on Children (SOC) is a nationwide survey designed to collect data on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of working children 5 to 17 years old.  The survey is a joint collaboration between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the National Statistics Office (NSO) as part of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC). 
As rider to the October 2011 Labor Force Survey (LFS), the 2011 SOC covered about 50,000 sample households using the NSO 2003 Master Sample Design with the 17 administrative regions as domains.  The survey involves the collection of data through personal interviews with the household as the reporting unit.  This means that the statistics emanating from the survey refer to the characteristics of the population residing in private households. In this survey, the ultimate sampling unit was the child worker 5 to 17 years old.
The 2011 SOC final estimates is based on the projected population using age-sex structure of the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CP) to conform with the known population.  
In this release, child labor includes:(i) hazardous work (hazardous child labor) which encompasses undesirable activities or work done in hazardous environment (as identified in DOLE Order No. 04 (1999) on ‘Hazardous work and activities to persons below 18 years of age’), and work done for long hours and/or night time or the entire day by children in ages 15 to 17 years (Section 12A (2) and (3) of RA No.9231); and (ii) those classified as other child labor, that is, work by children below fifteen (15) years of age in excess of the allowable work hours (Sec. 12A (1) of RA No. 9231).
Hazardous work is an employment or work where a child is exposed to any risk which constitutes an imminent danger or likely to be harmful to the health, safety or morals of young persons.  Work performed in an unhealthy and unsafe environment exposes the child to hazardous working condition such as extreme temperatures, hazardous elements, substances or to biological agents such as bacteria, fungi, and other parasites.
The 2011 SOC questionnaire used a more comprehensive set of questions to catch the incidence of child workers.  Aside from the main screening question, seven other screening questions were introduced. 
There were two reference periods used:  12 months reference period (October 2010 to September 2011) and past week reference period (the seven days prior to the day of interview).  For this release, the past week reference period was used.