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Career Advice

Legal Age to Work in the Philippines

Date Posted: Feb 17, 2009


Philippine government is serious to fight the increasing number of children who are  forced to work. However, because of the poverty faced by most families, some children have no choice but to work as early as their age.


Under the Philippine Labor Code, a person should be 15 years old and above to be permitted to work. However, under Republic Act 7610, a child below 15 years of age who are included as minor, are allowed to work but with the following consequences:


  • The employer should process and pass a work permit to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
  • A child must hold a work permit issued by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
  • Safety, Health and Morale rights of the child should be ensured.
  • The employer should ensure that the child will not be exploited and that his working schedules and loads should be capable with his age and his ability.
  • Consent from parents or guardian.


Although the law allowed 15 years old workers, the employable age remains 18 years old. Those who are between 15-18 years old should work in a non hazardous field that is healthy and not expose to danger. The law also implies that 15-18 year old workers should not be dealing in hazardous work such as:


  • Work which exposes children to physical, psychological or sexual abuse;
  • Work underground, under water, at dangerous heights or at unguarded heights of two meters and above, or in confined spaces;
  • Work with hazardous machinery, equipment and tools, or which involves manual handling or transport of heavy loads;
  • Work in an unhealthy environment which may expose children to hazardous processes, to temperatures, noise levels or vibrations damaging to their health, to toxic, corrosive, poisonous, noxious, explosive, flammable and combustible substances or composites, to harmful biological agents, or to other dangerous chemicals including pharmaceuticals;
  • Work under particularly difficult conditions such as work for long hours or during the night, or work where the child is unreasonably confined to the premises of the employer.


Under the law, the salary and benefits of a Child laborer should be the same with the employee within the right age. The employer is also responsible in any case that a minor laborer meets work-connected injury or accident. The law also gives punishment to employers and business establishment that will hire a minor without any working permit

The law also says that any person or employer who will violate the law will suffer a penalty of paying a P1, 000 and not more than P10, 000 or 3 months to 3 years of imprisonment. If a person or employer had violated the law more than once, the business license for operation will be revoked.














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