28 November 2014
KALIGTASAN NG MGA BATA PAHALAGAHAN NGAYONG KAPASKUHAN!
A Yuletide Season reminder from CWC
OIC-Executive Director B. Patricia Luna of the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), the highest policy making body on children, urged the public to make this yuletide season for children safe. Begging should be discouraged!
Begging for alms among children in the guise of caroling is a common scene with the advent of holiday season in the streets, jeepneys, malls and big establishment. Caroling in the streets is risky, especially to children who squeeze themselves between vehicles and tap on car windows, or those who jump from public utility vehicles, unmindful of the danger to their life and limb.
Presidential Decree 1563 otherwise known as “Anti-Medicancy Law of 1978” provides an integrated system for the control and eradication of mendicancy. It provides penalties for mendicants and those giving alms directly to the mendicants in the amount of 500 and 20 pesos, respectively. With such small penalty under the 35 year old law, there is a growing call to repeal it.
“Now, more than ever, the government has been seriously enforcing existing laws against child mendicancy. We really want to keep children off the streets,“ CWC Chairperson and DSWD Secretary Corazon Dinky Soliman says.
“If we want to help the mendicants and streetchidren, we must channel this through the proper government agencies, such as the DSWD, and Non-Government Organizations,” Secretary Soliman added.
Further, CWC also advises children to refrain from using pyrotechnics such as “superlolo”, “bawang”, “sinturon ni hudas” “goodbye philippines”, “pla-pla” among others, for the holiday season. We have seen the adverse effects of pyrotechnics among children victims such as poisoning, lost of limbs and worst, deaths. Based on the 2012 Department of Health (DOH) report, a total of 274 children aged 6 to 10 years old became victims of firecracker use.
CWC calls for a safe and mendicancy free holiday season and strongly encourage the stakeholders especially PARENTS, CAREGIVERS and GUARDIANS to ensure that their children will not engage in such activities. The LOCAL COUNCIL FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN and BARANGAY COUNCIL FOR THE PROTECION OF CHILDREN should take action such as monitoring the selling of pyrotechnics among children and apprehension of violators, and reporting to proper authorities the presence of children beggars. Implementation of the law relative to the two concerns should be a paramount concern of our BARANGAYS to protect our children.
Mr. Elino L Bardillon
Public Affairs Information Office
Telephone No. 7811039 local 1006