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February 09, 2005

Province celebrates Nat'l Awareness Week for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Exploitation

February 9, 2005

Phillipines - SEEKING to heighten the awareness of the public through the local government units about sexual abuse and exploitation of children, the Iloilo Provincial Government thru the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) is celebrating a weeklong National Awareness Week for Prevention of Child Abuse and Exploitation which kicked off last February 6

Alarmed with the present situation, PSWDO Planning Officer IV Nema A. Villan noted an increasing incidence of physical and sexual abuse against children from 2002-2004. Citing the report from the Iloilo Provincial Police Command, a total of 337 were reported cases of abuse against children: 325 were filed in court, 10 were settled and 2 pending cases.

The latest that was reported she said was a rape and murder case of a 12-year-old girl from Dingle.

Villa said that this year's theme "Magkaisa! Labanan ang Pang-aabusong Sekswal sa mga Bata," aims to encourage everybody to extend a helping hand to curb this problem.

The survey report of the International Labor Organization International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO/IPEC) on working children early this year showed that there is a big number of children working in sugarcane plantations, in deep-sea fishing, in pyrotechnics, as child domestic workers and children who are commercially and sexually exploited.

The City of Passi posted the highest number of children working, which totaled to 902; 832 were working in sugarcane plantations, 68 as child domestic workers, 1 in deep sea fishing and 1 in pyrotechnics.

The town of Concepcion followed with 138 reported cases - 81 in deep-sea fishing, 54 as child domestic workers, 2 in pyrotechnics and 1 in sugarcane plantation.

Estancia posted 52 reported cases; of the number, 43 work in deep-sea fishing, 8 as child domestic workers and 1 in pyrotechnics.

Ajuy has 28 recorded cases - 18 in deep-sea fishing while 10 in child domestic workers.

These data were also presented by Iloilo Gov. Niel D. Tupas, Sr. in the State of the Children Report during the celebration of Children's Month on October last year.

The Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCPC) will be drafting the Local Code for Children that addresses situation of children in the province. The proposed measure shall respond to the negative conditions of children and supportive of the significant programs of the local government units on children.

The proposed code shall like wise address the identified gaps in the implementation of the national laws. The activity needs the commitment and total participation of those legally mandated to do the task as well as those of the advocate volunteers.

In support of this move, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has approved Resolution No. 2004-149 chaired by Board Members Cecelia H. Capadosa and Domingo B. Oso, Jr. "Approving and adopting the Local Development Plan for Children (LDPC) and the Local Investment Plan for Children (LIPC) of the Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCPC) from year 2004-2007, as a commitment to the child-friendly movement.

The Province also drafted the Local Investment Plan for Children with a total cost of P23 million. Of the amount P8,130,267.50 (35.25 percent ) will be allocated to survival, P12,336,480.00 (53.49 percent ) to development, P1,844,800.00 (8.01 percent) to protection and P750,000.00 (3.25 percent) participation.

Meanwhile, the PSWDO as the lead agency for child welfare and protection thru Mrs. Neneth Q. Pador is requesting everyone to participate in the movement for child protection against sexual abuse and exploitation.

Posted by Nancy at February 9, 2005 06:51 AM