The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is currently working on a new program that would effectively address the issue of street children and families in the country, but emphasized that program details are yet to be crafted as talks with other concerned government agencies and private groups are still ongoing.
“Kami po ay kasalukuyang nakikipag-ugnayan sa Department of Interior and Local Government (LGU) at sa iba pang ahensya ng gobyerno para sa isang programa na mas magiging epektibo sa pag-responde para sa mga pangangailangan ng mga bata at pamilya na nasa lansangan (We are currently in talks with the DILG and other government agencies for the development of a new program that would be more effective in dealing with children and families on the streets),” shared DSWD Secretary Virginia N. Orogo.
“Tatawagin po itong ‘Silungan sa Barangay’. Kakailanganin namin ang tulong hindi lang ng local government, kundi ng bawat mamamayan sa Barangay (We will call this ‘Silungan sa Barangay’ which will need the help of not just the local government, but of each citizen in the Barangay),” Sec. Orogo explained.
According to the welfare chief, the concept of the program includes the allocation or establishment of spaces in the Barangay for rescued street children. A case study will then be conducted for each child, to assess appropriate interventions.
“Tapos immediately ipo-process at magkakaroon ng case study sa bawat bata para mailagay sa centers kung talagang walang magulang. At kung may mga kamag-anak naman, ibabalik sila sa kanilang mga kamag-anak (Immediately after, a case study will be conducted for each child. The children will be placed in centers if they do not have families or relatives anymore. If they still have, they will be returned to them),” she further explained.
Sec. Orogo shared that there are many reasons why there are children on the streets.
“Iba-iba po ang nagiging resulta ng aming pag-aaral sa problema: puwedeng ang magulang ng mga bata ay hindi ayos ang relasyon; puwede pong dahil sa kabuhayan at kahirapan iyong bata mismo ang naghahanap-buhay para sa kanyang mga magulang, dahil may sakit, o kaya iyong kapatid niya may sakit (The are various results from our study. It could be that the parents of the children are not in good terms, or the children are the ones working for their family because their parents or siblings have illnesses),” the Secretary said.
Sec. Orogo is positive that the proposed program, while still on the table for further study, will help the agency respond to the problem of street children, who face several risks while they are on the streets.
Lastly, she asked the public to help in the efforts of the Department in addressing the concern.
“Kakailanganin natin ng maraming resources para sa programang ito kaya kailangan natin ng tulong, hindi lamang ng iba’t-ibang ahensya ng gobyerno; mananawagan na rin po ako sa ating mga kababayan, lalo pa iyong mga na nasa pribadong sekto na tumulong at makiisa sa DSWD sa adhikain na ito (We need a lot of resources for this program so we need all the help that we can get, not just from different government agencies; I’m calling on our fellow citizens in the corporate world to also take part in this initiative of the DSWD),” Sec. Orogo ended. ###