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Tribal mother-grantee of Pantawid Pamilya welcomes complements to cultural practices

Leonida, with her two young kids, is thankful for the help and attention her family is getting from the government.

Leonida, with her two young kids, is thankful for the help and attention her family is getting from the government.

A 40-year-old mother from the Ati broke the stereotype of indigenous peoples (IP) being aloof, and spoke about how Pantawid Pamilya has changed her family’s way of life. The Ati is a Negrito indigenous group from Panay Island, Visayas.

Leonida Bartolome of Barangay Balabag, Boracay, Malay, Aklan, said that her family’s way of life is now better since they became beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya.

“Pasalamat ako dahil napapansin mga tawo tulad naming mga Ati. Kami nakasulod sa Pantawid Pamilya (I am thankful that Ati, like us, are also given attention. We are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya),” said Leonida.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides cash grants to partner-beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for checkups, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Leonida is married to Joel, a part-time laborer. They have five children, namely: Judelyn, 21;  Jeremy Jhon, 18;  Abegail, 9; Joel Jr., 7; and Aniza, 5. Joel’s meager income from odd jobs that come few and far between can hardly support the family’s daily needs.

Leonida’s three younger children are covered by Pantawid Pamilya and are receiving monthly cash grants for their education and health needs.

Leonida shared that with the cash grants, she need not worry about the school requirements of her children.  She and Joel can now focus on putting food on the table.

“Bahul bahul bulig sa amon. Kon wala obra ang akon asawa, wala gid makitaan kwarta. Ngayon may pambili na ng bag, notebook, at tsinelas (The program has helped us so much. When my husband had no work, we really had no money.  Now, we have money to buy bags, notebooks, and slippers for the children),” she said.

Beyond cash grants

While the cash grants have helped Leonida meet the daily school needs of her children, the lessons she learned from FDS have changed her perspectives in managing her household.

FDS is conducted monthly by DSWD and partners from non-government organizations, the private sector, and civil society organizations. It serves as a venue where topics on effective parenting, husband and wife relationships, child development, laws affecting the Filipino family, gender and development, home management, active citizenship, and electoral education are discussed.

Leonida narrated that practices such as washing the dishes and sweeping the floors used to be foreign to her.

After attending the FDS, she learned about the importance of maintaining the cleanliness of their house. Now, she said that her children are helping her keep the cleanliness of their home.

Leonida also shared that she is greatly thankful for the transformation of her husband.

“Sang una pirme sya gainom. Subong, sobrang minsan nalang. Indi na siya pasaway kay hadlok man mabawian sang cash grant (While he used to always drink liquor, now, he rarely does it. He is not hard-headed anymore. He does not want our cash grants from the government to be stopped),” she said.

When asked about her dreams, Leonida beamed and said, “Dapat makatapos ang mga anak ko ng kolehiyo (My children should finish college).”

“Kun makatapos sila ng kolehiyo, mabuligan man nila ang ila iban nga utod at mga kapwa Ati namin (If they finish college, they could help the rest of their siblings and our fellow Ati),” she said.

As of May 27, 2015, a total of 4,424,705 active households nationwide are covered by the program. Of this number, 559,374 are IP beneficiary-households of which 416,671 are in Mindanao, 134,471 in Luzon, and 8,232 in Visayas. In Panay Island which is composed of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo, there are 496 active IP household-beneficiaries.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the inclusion of IPs in Pantawid Pamilya reflects this administration’s principle of inclusive growth where no one is left behind, especially for the sectors that have long been overlooked in the past. ###

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DSWD pushes for establishment of more ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ for children in conflict with the law

One year after the signing of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 10630 or an “Act Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines,” the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) urges local government units to establish a ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ for children in conflict with the law (CICL) in their respective jurisdictions.

As provided in the amended Section 49, “Each province and highly-urbanized city…shall be responsible for building, funding, and operating a ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ within their jurisdiction following the standards that will be set by DSWD and adopted by the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC).”

In June last year, DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman and members of the JJWC signed the IRR of RA 10630, and this was witnessed by representatives from non-government organizations (NGOs) and members of local government units (LGUs).

A ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ is a 24-hour child-caring institution that offers short term residential care for CICL who are 1) above 15, but less than 18 years of age, and awaiting court disposition; 2) above 12 to 15 years of age who committed serious crime with commitment order issued by the court; 3) above 12 to 15 years of age who are repeat offenders; and 4) above 12 to below 18 years of age who are considered to be neglected, abandoned, or abused.

The establishment of an Intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support Center (IJISC) for CICL who are under the minimum age of criminal responsibility in ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ is one of the key enhancements in the law.

Under the law, the ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ is managed by a multi-disciplinary team composed of a social worker, a psychologist/mental health professional, a medical doctor, an educational guidance counsellor, and a member of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC). They will work on the individualized intervention plan with the child and the child’s family.

To date, there are 19 ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ located in 18 LGUs in nine regions of the country.  Of these, 13 are operational, four have been completed but not yet operational, while two have ceased operations.

Pioneering LGU

Sec. Soliman cited Marikina City for being one of those LGUs that have established their ‘Bahay Pag-asa,’ which is called Marikina Youth Home, in compliance to then RA 9344 or the “Juvenile Justice Welfare Act”.

The Marikina Youth Home was inaugurated on July 29, 2013.

Berlyn Tampuhan, one of the social workers at the Marikina City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), said that the youth home currently provides temporary shelter to 54 residents – seven girls and 47 boys.  The girls stay at the second floor while the boys stay at the first floor of the building.

Resembling more of a home than a detention center, the Marikina Youth Home has amenities to respond to the children’s basic needs such as clean bedrooms, comfort rooms, a kitchen, a library and study room, and recreational facilities.

“The children consider us their household members,” Berlyn said.

The Marikina City LGU was able to build the facility out of the P25 million given to the city government by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) when they were awarded with the Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2012.

Marikina City Mayor Del De Guzman is happy that the city already has a facility that caters to the welfare of CICL.

True to its name, the center inspires youngsters to start their journey to a reformed life. Through various services provided, they are being equipped with the necessary skills in preparation for their eventual reintegration to their families and communities.

The LGU of Marikina has partnered with TESDA to conduct skills training. To date, the children are undergoing trainings on computer technology and bartending. The social workers also teach the girls home management, cooking, and baking.

The children also engage in sports, such as basketball, and spiritual enhancement activities, which include group sharing and bible studies as part of their rehabilitation.

With these provisions at the center, the kids have a chance to live normal lives.

Hopes and dreams

Berlyn narrated that like many adolescents, the youngsters at the center also aspire for a fuller life. They talked about their hopes and dreams of finishing their studies, getting good jobs, and helping their families.

They also realized that transformation has to come from within, and that they can achieve positive change through determination and perseverance.

Nica, 18, admitted that she has a two year-old baby boy.

“Pag-alis ko dito, gusto kong makatapos ng pag-aaral upang mapalaki ko nang maayos ang aking anak (When I leave the center, I want to finish my studies so I can raise my child well),” she said.

“Maraming naitulong ang mga social workers dito sa amin (The social workers here have helped us a lot),” she added.

Elma, 18, an Ambassadress of the Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP) last year, affirmed Nica’s statement.

“Marami akong natutunan dito sa ‘Bahay Pag-asa,’ katulad ng pagluluto at iba pang gawaing bahay, sa matiyagang pagtuturo ng mga social workers (I have learned a lot here in ‘Bahay Pag-asa,’ such as cooking and other household chores, thanks to the social workers who patiently taught us),” she related.

Gina, 18, narrated that she ran away from home.

Lagi kasing nag-aaway ang mga magulang ko. Gusto ko ring makapasok sa college at magtrabaho sa call center para makatulong sa pamilya ko (My parents constantly quarrel.  I also want to go to college and to work in a call center so I can help my family),” Gina added.

Helen, 17, who was accused of taking drugs, claimed she learned how to do chores at ‘Bahay Pag-asa.’  She plans to go to college and help her family.

On the other hand, Mina, 15, who is the youngest of the girls, wants to be a social worker “para matulungan ko ang mga kabataang napapariwara at napapagbintangan (So I can help young people who went astray and those who were unjustly accused),” she passionately stated.

Mina and her cousin, Miriam, claimed they were wrongly accused of taking drugs.

Residents of Mindanao, the cousins came to Manila believing that they could land a job. The police raided the house they were staying in at that time and found drugs.

Being minors, the cousins were turned over to the Local Social Welfare and Development Office (LSWDO), and brought to stay at the ‘Bahay Pag-asa.’

On the other hand, most of the boys were accused of using illegal drugs, and one of them was accused of rape.

Jerry, 16, said, “Nasira ang buhay ko dahil sa tropa (My life was ruined because of my gang).”

Determined to succeed in life, the boy enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) so that he may continue his studies.  Implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd), ALS is a parallel learning system that provides a practical option aside from the existing formal instruction. When one does not have or cannot access formal education in schools, ALS is an alternate or substitute. It includes both the non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.

Jerry’s desire to pursue his education was shared by Jomari, 17, who was accused of raping his girlfriend.

Berlyn proudly shared that Jomari took and passed the assessment skills administered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Make life right for children

Intensifying the programs and services implemented at the ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ is one step forward to respond better to the evolving needs of CICL, thereby ensuring their holistic development towards a brighter future.

Sec. Soliman appealed to all sectors of society to give CICL a second chance at life since they are also victims and must be given all the help they need so they may be productive, contributing members of the country. ###

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DSWD, partners train visually impaired persons for call center jobs

Left ​ Photo: ​  Sarah Ocampo, Jennifer Roco, Monette Mahinay, Ran Shile Bartolay, and Ma. Eleonor Valbuena  proudly display their training certificates during their  graduation ceremony. Also in photo are (from left), People’s Sparx CEO May Cuevas, DSWD U/Sec. Parisya Taradji, NODA Software Philippines, Inc. Manager Jes Gaerlan, DSWD Protective Services Director Margarita Sampang, and Social Worker Camia Ferrer, focal person on PWDs. ​   ​Right Photo: Visually impaired participants during their skills training.

Left ​ Photo: ​Sarah Ocampo, Jennifer Roco, Monette Mahinay, Ran Shile Bartolay, and Ma. Eleonor Valbuena proudly display their training certificates during their graduation ceremony. Also in photo are (from left), People’s Sparx CEO May Cuevas, DSWD U/Sec. Parisya Taradji, NODA Software Philippines, Inc. Manager Jes Gaerlan, DSWD Protective Services Director Margarita Sampang, and Social Worker Camia Ferrer, focal person on PWDs. ​
​Right Photo: Visually impaired participants during their skills training.

Visually impaired persons were taught the skills needed to work in call centers in the pilot implementation of a four-day skills training project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in partnership with NODA Software Philippines Inc. and People Sparx Inc.

The “Call Center Training for Persons with Visual Impairment” was held from May 25 to 29, 2015 at the DSWD Knowledge Exchange Center (KEC), with five members from the Philippine Blind Union (PBU) and Resources for the Blind Inc. (RBI) as initial participants.

The participants were trained on organizational and communication skills such as customer service, data entry, phone, listening, verbal communication, building relationships, problem solving, and multi-tasking.

NODA, a leading developer of software solutions for call centers, provided the computer software for the training while People Sparx, a management consulting firm, trained the participants on English proficiency.

In their simple graduation ceremony held on Monday, the five graduates were thankful for the new knowledge they have acquired and expressed hope that they will be able to find gainful employment.

In her testimony, Maria Eleanor Valbuena, 24, one of the visually impaired participants and a graduate of Education, said that the training is her stepping stone to the corporate world. Her goal is to become a call center supervisor.

“One of my dreams is to be able to provide my family with a comfortable life,” she added.

Valbuena said that even if she experienced a lot of bullying and discrimination, she did not let her self-esteem get affected.

“I learned to be just myself. Even if I’m blind, there are things that I can do better than a normal person can. I can communicate well in English and I think that is my asset,” Valbuena said.

Another participant, Monette Mahinay, an 18-year-old student from Pasig City, stated, “After completing the training, I have this vision of myself becoming a competent call center agent. It brought me out of my comfort zone and I hope that more visually impaired individuals will benefit from this partnership.”

NODA Manager Jess Gaerlan said that they will help the participants get jobs.

“We are in the process of talking to some prospective companies that need call center agents or customer representatives. We will make sure that they will be employed after the training,” Gaerlan emphasized.

Gaerlan also said that the trainees will be on par with other applicants without disability when they apply for a job in a call center company.

NODA and People’s Sparks expect to accommodate more applicants.

In order to become a participant for the succeeding trainings, an applicant must be:

·        Legally visually impaired;
·        Indigent or belong to the marginalized sector;
·        At least 18 years old and above;
·        Must have a high school diploma preferably with 2 years college education:
·        Must possess good communication and organizational skills;
·        Must be proficient in computer technology, such as MS Office, and Assistive Technology;
·        Must be able to maneuver in assigned areas as required;
·        Must demonstrate proficiency in a job-related assessment; and
·        Must pass the skills assessment such as typing speed and listening skills test.

During the flag ceremony held on Monday wherein the five participants were presented, DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman lauded them for successfully completing the training.

“You did not allow your disability to hinder you from achieving your goals in life, which is truly commendable,” Sec. Soliman said.

Sec. Soliman also expressed her gratitude to NODA and People’s Sparks for supporting the project.

DSWD is also looking into partnering with other government agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for the future implementation of the program. DSWD and partners will conduct succeeding trainings with more PWD-participants.

“I envision in the long run that because of the success of the skills training project, this will also be cascaded to the Department’s 16 Field Offices so we can accommodate visually impaired individuals in the grassroots level,” Sec. Soliman ended. ###

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Passion for volunteerism

Charo Simara Ablao speaks up about her community during one of the Kalahi-CIDSS assemblies in Barangay Balaring in General Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija.

Charo Simara Ablao speaks up about her community during one of the Kalahi-CIDSS assemblies in Barangay Balaring in General Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija.

Helping her community through her volunteer work in the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) has become a passion for Charo Simara Ablao, 37.

A resident of Misserior Village in Barangay Balaring, General Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija, Charo is a mother of five children, all of whom are scholars in a local school. Her husband, Silvestre Madi Ablao, Jr., is a mechanic in Quezon City and comes home only once a month. Charo has a mobile loading station to help her spouse provide for their children.

Even though Charo was unable to attend the first assembly mobilized by Kalahi-CIDSS within the village, her active participation during the next meeting got her fellow villagers to notice her and elect her as the Barangay Representation Team (BRT) Chairperson. The BRT is responsible for speaking in behalf of their village during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum- Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA) to try to get funding for their village’s proposed project.

According to Charo, she first felt sad when she learned that their area is covered by Kalahi-CIDSS, because she believed it simply meant that their town was considered one of the poorest municipalities in the country. However, when she attended the first Municipal Orientation conducted by the program, she realized that this perspective is wrong, because she learned that the program will actually help her and her fellow residents in their barangay become empowered to escape from poverty.

Participating in Kalahi-CIDSS is not the first time she has served as a community volunteer, being a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Parent Leader and a member of the Barangay Pastoral Council.

Lahat ng klase ng pagiging volunteer, pinapasok ko (I have experienced all kinds of volunteer work)”, she said. “Naniniwala ako na hindi kailangan humingi ng kapalit sa pagtulong sa kapwa. Alam ko na ang aking pansariling kakayanan ay makakatulong para sa ikauunlad ng aming barangay (I believe that you do not need to ask for anything in return when you help others. I know that my own skills can help in improving our barangay),” she continued.

Charo and her team, as well as the other BRTs of General Mamerto Natividad, will be presenting their proposed projects during their MIBF-PRA this mid-June. During this activity, the BRTs will vote which of the proposals of the 20 barangays will receive funding through Kalahi-CIDSS. Barangay Balaring’s proposed sub-project is for the improvement of their water system.

Central Luzon is a new region covered by Kalahi-CIDSS upon its expansion into the national community-driven development program. Aside from General Mamerto Natividad, Quezon and Talugtug will also be implementing the program.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a program of the Department of the Social Welfare and Development that seeks to help alleviate poverty through the community-driven development approach, a strategy that puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to identify their community’s primary problems and implement and maintain their identified solutions. ###

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DSWD to netizens: Stop sharing photos, videos degrading children

Amid the video of a child on a leash going viral on social media, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) strongly asks netizens to stop uploading and sharing photos and videos showing children in degrading situations.

“As we all know, social media has its good and bad sides. What is important is for us to be responsible in reporting these cases of violence, whether done in jest or not, to authorities for immediate action.  Once you receive photos or videos on abuses, please do not share them because these will also lead children to experience insecurity and low self-esteem when they grow older,” Sec. Soliman said.

Instead, the Department appeals that netizens report these photos to DSWD  or to the Philippine National Police.

Sec. Soliman cited another photo that surfaced in the internet showing a child with a lit cigarette on her mouth just a day after DSWD rescued and took temporary custody of the child on a leash.

The Secretary warned parents and perpetrators to avoid making the same mistake committed by the mother of the child on a leash.  She reiterated that they could be held liable under Republic Act 9262 or the Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) Act and under Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law. ###

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First barangays to implement Kalahi-CIDSS sub-projects in Central Luzon identified

TALUGTUG, NUEVA ECIJA – Talugtug, Nueva Ecija is the first town in Central Luzon to identify which barangays will receive community grants from the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Last May 21-22, Talugtug identified which of its 28 barangays will receive funding for the implementation of its chosen community projects through the said program.

Although Kalahi-CIDSS began in 2003, it was only in 2014 that Central Luzon became part of the program’s covered areas, following its scale-up into a national community-driven development (CDD) program.

The chosen barangays went through an activity called the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum-Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA), in which representatives from each village vote on which of the proposed community projects will receive funding from the program. Aside from the community residents, officials and staff of the Kalahi-CIDSS national and regional offices and the local government unit (LGU) of Talugtug attended the activity.

The number of prioritized barangays depended on the community grant from Kalahi-CIDSS, which was computed based on the poverty incidence, population size, and income class level of the municipality. Being a fourth-class municipality with a 26.82% poverty incidence and a population of 36,720, Talugtug received a community grant amounting to P8,516,400.

The communities showed their enthusiasm for Kalahi-CIDSS, from opening the program with a parade of floats prepared by each barangay, to their creative presentations of their proposed projects, done through songs, poems, and dances.

The votes resulted in the prioritization of three community project proposals from three barangays: Barangay Maasin’s potable water system, Barangay Mayamot I’s access road improvement, and Barangay Villa Rosario’s irrigation system. A fourth Talugtug barangay may be included, pending the finalization of the village’s resource mobilization. The cost of the three sub-projects will be funded by the Kalahi-CIDSS community grant, as well as the municipal local government unit’s local counterpart contribution amounting to P450,000.00. The other remaining barangays may still be prioritized in Kalahi-CIDSS in the next cycles of the program. Furthermore, the LGU and the national government agencies (NGA) who attended the MIBF-PRA committed to support them.

The residents from the prioritized barangays are thankful that their proposed community projects will be supported by Kalahi-CIDSS.

Maraming salamat po sa Kalahi-CIDSS! Masayang masaya po kami dahil kami ang napili. Matutupad na ang aming pangarap na hindi na kami mahihirapan sa pag-iigib ng tubig! (Many thanks to Kalahi-CIDSS! We are very happy that we were chosen. Our dream of not experiencing difficulty fetching water will finally be achieved!)” Myrna De Leon, a community volunteer and resident of Barangay Maasin, said happily.

Despite their village not being one of the prioritized barangays during the activity, Elvira Rosquita of Barangay Quezon was also thankful to the program. She said, “Nagpapasalamat kami sa Kalahi-CIDSS sa masayang karanasan, sa pakikilahok sa lahat ng mga assemblies at gawain. Kami ay hindi malungkot kahit hindi kami na priority. Ang importante ay sinubukan namin (We would like to thank Kalahi-CIDSS for this fun experience, through the assemblies and activities. We are not sad even if we were not prioritized. What is important is that we tried).”

Talugtug Mayor Reynaldo Cachuela also expressed his thanks for the program.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa karangalan na ang Talugtug ay naisama sa programang ito ng gobyerno (I am thankful for the honor Talugtug was given in being included by this government program),said Mayor Cachuela.

He expressed his appreciation of the program’s initiative to involve the citizens in the development process, saying, “I appreciate the trust of our government today. They are putting emphasis on our grassroots level”.

“Dahil dito, ibibigay namin ang aming suporta, rest assured of our commitment (Because of this, we will give you our support, rest assured of our commitment)”, Mayor Cachuela pledged, adding that the LGU and the Sangguniang Bayan will provide full support for the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS in Talugtug. ###

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Psychological assessment, counselling on going for mother of child on leash

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman gave instructions for the continued counselling of the parents of the child who was treated like a pet dog, in order to remind them of their responsibilities and of responsible parenting.

This came after the child’s mother admitted that the incident was done in jest.

“That is the reason why we want to give them counselling on responsible parenting. They should know that it is their primary responsibility to protect and uphold the dignity of their child. It is ironic that she did that to her own child,” Sec. Soliman explained.

On Tuesday, upon the instruction of Sec. Soliman, the Local Social Welfare and Development Office of Orani, Bataan rescued the child from the family. The child is presently under the temporary custody of the DSWD-Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) in Pampanga.


Upon rescue, the child was taken to the district hospital for medical check-up.

Sec. Soliman was pleased to know that despite what happened, the child remained healthy and did not sustain bruises from the incident.

The child will remain at the RSCC until such time that psychologists from the Department establish the capability of the parents to take care of their child.

Psychological assessment

Aside from the continued counselling session, Sec. Soliman also ordered for the conduct of psychological assessment on the child’s parents including the members of the immediate family to determine their state of mental capacity.

“I really want to know if the whole family had any sense of the wrongness of the act and why they participated in it,” Sec. Soliman said.

The result of the psychological assessment will guide the Department’s decisions on the custody of the child and on whether a case should be filed against the mother. ###

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DSWD to public – Help stop child, senior abuse; get involved

“Walang karapatan ang sino man na paglaruan ang isang bata. Ang sinumang gagawa nito maski mga sariling magulang ay maaring maparusahan sa ilalim ng batas (No one has the right to treat a child like a toy. Whoever does this can be punished under the law).”

This was the stern warning of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman amid the circulation of photos over social media showing a child being treated like a puppy, naked and with a leash around the neck.

“Kahit nagbibiruan lang, masamang biro.  Hindi alam ng bata na binibiro siya (Even if it was made in jest, it was done in bad taste.  The child does not know that it is just a joke),” Sec. Soliman said.

“It is a clear case of child abuse and the perpetrator is liable under the Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) Act and under Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law,” Sec. Soliman emphasized.

Sec. Soliman said that in cases like this, the most important thing is to get the custody of the child.  She added that whoever is behind the photo has no right to take care of a child.

Whereabouts located

This morning, Sec. Soliman received a report from DSWD-Field Office III that they have already located the whereabouts of the mother of the child.

Sec. Soliman has already instructed for the rescue and temporary custody of the child.

She added that the child will undergo psychosocial assessments while DSWD will evaluate the mother to determine her capacity to take care of her child.

Senior abuse

Aside from this child abuse case, Sec. Soliman also condemned the case of a man hitting his mother in a bus station. The video of the incident has also gone viral on social media.

It was evident that the video was taken by somebody who was also waiting at the bus station.

She added that DSWD is also doing its best to trace those involved in this video so that appropriate action can be done. The perpetrators must realize their responsibilities.

Sec. Soliman said, “Again, I appeal to the public to interfere when you witness violence happening.  Get involved and help stop violence like what happened to the senior citizen. If you are afraid, report to a security guard or to a nearby barangay station.”

Sec. Soliman also mentioned that Quezon City has Ordinance 2307 or the “Citizen’s Arrest Ordinance of Quezon City” that says ordinary citizens can now arrest criminals and other law-breakers. ###

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