DSWD, LGUs TO RESCUE STREET CHILDREN, IPs CAROLING ON STREETS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is working with Local Government Units (LGUs) to rescue street children and members of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who are seen begging in Metro Manila and neighboring cities and provinces this holiday season.
“The DSWD continues to maintain its close coordination with our LGUs to help street dwellers. The reach out is being conducted by the local governments. The LGUs then refer those they have reached out to us, just like what the cities of Quezon, Pasay, and Mandaluyong are doing,” DSWD Spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Glenda D. Relova, explained.
Asec. Relova said those referred to DSWD are brought temporarily to its centers.
“Our centers are prepared to receive them. When the rescued street children and street families are brought to our centers, our social workers carry out a comprehensive case analysis to determine the best possible way to assist them. They are also provided with various services, such as initial check-ups and provision of hot meals and hygiene kits,” she said.
The Assistant Secretary said the DSWD also provides transportation aid, especially to IPs, through its Balik-Probinsya Program.
“So far, we have referred three batches of IPs to our Field Office in Region III, which then assisted them to go back to their homes and provinces. There will be two more batches of Aetas whom we will assist to go back home,” Asec. Relova said.
Asec. Relova also announced that the Department, through the instruction of DSWD Secretary Rolando D. Bautista, has called for an inter-agency meeting with other national government agencies to discuss how they can further help address the problem of street dwellers and IPs begging on the streets.
“The inter-agency meeting is aimed at looking for a long-term solution for this problem. We have invited the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), our LGUs, and even the different transport groups to elicit their help and awareness in reporting to the DSWD or the PNP if they observed that there are influx of IPs or children who might be traveling to the cities. This is one way of arresting the problem at the entry or initial level” she shared.
“Again, we are appealing to the public not to give alms. Mas mainam po na ang ating tulong ay idirekta natin sa long-term programs na makakapagbigay ng komprehensibong tulong sa ating mga kababayang IPs at street children (It would be better to direct our help to long-term programs that would provide a comprehensive help to our fellow citizens who are IPs and street children),” the Assistant Secretary ended.