Population growth, dependency burdens, and viewing children as economic assets contribute to keeping families poor. Of the Philippine population of 88.6 million in 2007, 29.5 per cent live below the Asian Poverty Line (APL) of US$ 1.35 a day. Many though not all poor families see child labour as a way to cope with meagre family incomes evident in the 2.1 working children aged 5-17 in the country.
As a ratifying country to , the Philippines has integrated child labour concerns into national policy frameworks including the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP). The country has passed legislation that defines a legal framework that addresses child labour and adopted a Philippine Time-Bound Programme (PTBP) to eliminate the worst forms of child labour. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued a Memorandum Circular No. 2011-133 for the formulation of local legislation to address child labour initiatives in the local development plans and programmes.
In 2009, the US Department of Labor (USDOL) approved a project that provides the vision of a child labour - free Philippines by building on past gains and addressing continuing challenges.