Better investment, stronger coordination committed for national, local child protection
Government, UNICEF and NGO partners launch national plan of action to address high prevalence of violence against children
MANILA, 9 May 2018 – The Council for the Welfare of Children, UNICEF and NGO partners joined Congress and local governments today to commit to investing in a multi-sectoral strategy action plan to end violence against children in the Philippines. Sen Loren Legarda and Rep Karlo Nograles, Senate and House Committee on Finance Chairs respectively, with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio representing local government executives, urged all levels of legislative and executive agencies to support child protection councils in addressing high prevalence of physical, psychological, sexual violence and online abuse of Filipino children.
“We need to put a stop to these forms of violence and online sexual abuse. In the National Budget of 2018, I have ensured that the PNP’s Women and Children’s Protection Centre to have increased budget to purchase additional equipment and obtain training to increase their capacity in their work. As Chair of Committee on Finance in the Senate, I will support additional funding in the 2019 National Budget,” said Sen Loren Legarda said in a message at the launch.
“Congress will support an initial PHP2.4 million budget for the national implementation; and PHP2.8 million for the localisation of the PPAEVAC. As chair of the Committee on Appropriations, I commit to advocate to our colleagues in Congress to allocate more resources for this very important national plan; and continue policy dialogues for strategic implementation,” said Rep Karlo Nograles, of the first district of Davao City.
“I congratulate the Council for the Welfare of Children and UNICEF. We will continue to support to protect the rights of children, and sustain the campaign for a more humane and protective environment. We will support programmes for parents and caregivers in positive parenting; that children have access to quality protective services; and child protection systems at all levels are functioning,” said OIC-Secretary Emmanuel Leyco of Department of Social Welfare and Development. He was joined by CWC Executive Director Mitzi Uy in urging Congress to use the results of Plan of Action as basis to enhance policies and invest in programmes for children; and improve capacity of service-providers to prevent and respond to violence against children.
The PPAEVAC, a set of strategies and recommendations resulting from the National Baseline Study on VAC in 2016, details the roles and responsibilities for implementation of key government agencies. Each of these agencies have committed to the strategy designated to their respective department:
- DSWD will lead programmes for all evidence-based parenting and positive discipline programmes;
- Department of Education will integrate personal safety lessons and life-skills in curriculum in schools;
- DSWD and the Department of Justice to improve children’s access to protective and helpline services;
- CWC and the Department of Interior and Local Management to mobilise child protection systems at all levels effectively; with local governments and civil society, advocates, and the private sector; and
- CWC will monitor the implementation of all VAC-related laws, along with continuous policy advocacy
“It is concerning that violence pervades on children, committed by people they trust. Violence also has high economic cost to the country; the more strategically we prevent violence, government will be able to avert the expenses it will need in responding to VAC in the long-term. UNICEF will thus continue supporting the work laid out in the Plan of Action to address VAC in the Philippines,” UNICEF Philippines OIC-Representative Julia Rees said, citing the Philippines’ commitment to the UN sustainable development goals (SGD 16.2).
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio also said: “As one of the leading LGUs in children’s welfare, we will commit to the implementation of the PPAEVAC in Davao. It is my hope that all cities will rise up in the work to continue protecting our children – especially achieving holistic growth and safe, secure and child-friendly environment for young Filipinos. We will uphold the rights and welfare of our children who will be tomorrow’s innovators and leaders.” The message was delivered by Councilor Abygale Maralza, Chair of Davao City’s Council for Women’s Welfare.
The launch was highlighted by a creative depiction conceptualised and produced by the ANAK Culiat Children’s Theatre Group on the various forms of violence suffered my children and impact on their lives. The performance conveyed messages from children to all responsible adults with a strong call to action to stop and prevent all forms violence against children.
DSWD OIC Sec Leyco, Rep Karlo Nograles and CWC ED Uy were joined by Davao City Councilor Avegayle Maralza representing Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio; Tala Maralit representing Sen Legarda; DepED Asistant Secretary Josephine Maribojoc, DILG ASec Marjorie Jalosjos, OIC for Children’s Health and Development Dr Anthony Calibo of the DOH, DOJ ASec Cheryl Yangot, Department of Information and Communication Technology’s Director Maria Teresa Garcia, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines’ Ariel Siagan, and Human Rights Commissioner Leah Armamento in expressing commitment to the implementation of the Plan of Action. Some 4Ps parents were also represented by Jeana Catacio and Analiza Natalio.
The PPAEVAC Launch was hosted by the National Steering Committee chaired by CWC and UNICEF, with the support of the Commission on Human Rights, DepED, DILG, DOH, DOJ, DSWD, National Youth Commission and the National Council for Social Development, the Philippine Information Agency, and the Women and Children’s Protection Centre; NGO partners ChildFund, Child Protection Network, Consuelo Foundation, CRC Coalition, ECPAT, Parenting Foundation, Plan International, Save the Children, World Vision, and World Health Organization; and the UP-Manila National Institute of Health.
“I have been witness to the experiences of children who have survived different forms of violence. But they should live in a safe environment. We, as leaders, must not let up on our efforts; all sectors of society must work together, and support the programmes to protect our children,” OIC-Secretary Leyco concluded.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in the Philippines, visit www.unicef.ph.