GENERAL SANTOS CITY – At least 64 minors have been confirmed to be working in small-scale mining projects in the gold rush town of T’boli, South Cotabato, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) officials said.
Ruby Carrasco, DOLE South Cotabato field office head, reported that the child laborers either worked as “abanteros”, packers or haulers in small-scale mining projects in Barangay Kematu.
She noted that some of the minors worked in “banlas” or sluice mining operations, a method deemed illegal by the provincial government due to its destructive effect on the environment.
“The child laborers have been identified and profiled for the assistance that will be extended to them, including their parents,” Carrasco said.
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