Sunday, February 20, 2005

"Tahong" made me cry

Dear mouse,

Next time you stop by a wet market and haggle for the price of one can of "tahong", don't."

Months ago, I wrote about the beautiful tapestries and handwoven carpets from India prominently displayed in one store in the downtown area. Very expensive. That was weeks after I read an article in the Readers' Digest about children carpet makers in India, working 12 hours a day for meager pay that have been advanced to their parents by their employers. What I saw was not the beautiful handiwork but the beautiful faces of these children trying to ward off sleep so that they can finish their tasks.

Then there is this "tahong business" in the Philippines where the divers who harvest the tahong from the "baklad" are but children. Some of them have stopped going to school. They assume already the role of the bread winner at a tender age. Where are the parents who are supposed to provide for their children and not the other way around?

Where is the government which is supposed to implement the Child Labor Law ?

Which reminds me...

I prepared a feasibility study of "tahong" farm business when I was still in the Philippines.

As far as I can recall, the business is profitable except if there is a big storm that may uproot the bamboo poles used to grow the tahongs under water. This is not supposed to be labor intensive since two adult workers can easily do the harvesting. Employing child labor enhances profit since labor cost would be lower.

Where are entrepreneurs who do not have SMTM (show me the money as their primary goal) and exploit children to attain such goal?

Now I am beginning to dislike tahong.

Remind me to rent the Muro Ami DVD.

The Ca t


At 11:45 PM, Blogger Cerridwen said...

Cath the Social Services & police do not do anything about this? I mean the Philippines do not have law against child abuse and labor? because if ther eis, shouldn't the police be acting on it and Social Services taking this kids away from home until settled by court?

At 2:37 AM, Blogger infraternam meam said...

buti tahong lang ang nakita mong problema ng mga bata. when i was still in the phils. there was a child trade in the phils., prominently at Pagsanjan. the parents themselves are the ones selling their kids to australian phidophiles. its a logn story, but this happened during the early 80's and the govt was not able to do anything about was the church who exposed this and aided the childen ranging from 9 to 13 years or age, of both gender.

At 6:31 AM, Blogger cathcath said...

it seems that child abuse for Social Work people in the Phils is only physical abuse.

We have a Child Labor Law that protects children from exploitation but who cares?

As frat has said, the parents are the ones who pimp their children to earn money.

I think it is atill happening.
These phedophiles are all over the islands. Some have already established residence and put up the "business" themselves at the same time enjoying the perks of the young flesh trade.

I read a news about a retired
Filam whose travels in the Philippines were merely for arranging the
meetings of phedophiles with his
Caucasian friends. Who would suspect if he claimed it was
a business trip for wold-be investors? Neat eh.
Masunog sana sa impyerno ang kaluluwa niya.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Cerridwen said...

HOLY COW! a country that doesn't have protecting children as one of the priority in their law????

I mean no disrespect but should the people and the church be doing something or taking some steps to protect their children? something the government will give priority to?

Philippines being a conservative & catholic country, you would think have stricter child law to protect their children.

Maybe if it is enforced better, and officials are made aware that protecting childrne shouldn't be taken lightly, there will be less phedophiles going there, less people abusing children may it bephysically or mentally.

GOvernment should be arguing how to protect children first rather than arguin which politician slept with which starlet.

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should definitely watch "Minsan Lang Sila Bata." It's an award winning docu about child labor, or search for reviews on the net. It's not only the tahong industry, there are a lot more... and you'd be surprised!


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