MALABON CITY – Malabon City Mayor Antolin Oreta III said the local government is ensuring the welfare of children living in the city.
Oreta said he directed Malabon City Social Welfare and Development Department (CSWDD) Officer-in-Charge Patria Agcaoili to divulge developments in the city concerning prioritization of child welfare care.
“We inaugurated our 2-storey child-caring institution Bahay Pag-asa on November 20, 2018 to augment the Bahay Sandigan which is an adjacent child-shelter facility,” he added.
Bahay Pag-asa seeks to shelter apprehended children in conflict with law (CICL) aged 18 years old and below while waiting court disposition.
On the other hand, Bahay Sandigan takes temporary custody of children at risk (CAR) rescued by the CSWDD from streets and public places or from negligent parents or guardians.
Bahay Sandigan used to accommodate both CICL and CAR. However, the city mayor recognized the need to improve the child care facility and more systematically address differing needs.
Under Presidential Decree 603 or the Child and Youth Welfare Code of the Philippines and Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, local government units (LGUs) are mandated to establish and operate such facilities.
Since then, the city council has proactively managed its Bahay Sandigan with competent staff and funding complemented with help and donations from various partners.
Malabon City has attended to 369 CICLs and 172 CARs in the child care institution since 2016.
While in said shelter, vocational counseling, Alternative Learning System (ALS) sessions, and skills training in income generating projects, values formation and sports / recreation programs are all made available to meet up particular client needs.
Above all, Oreta assures that children in custody are provided food, clothing, personal and medical/dental needs while also addressing spiritual/moral recovery and enhancement in preparation for reintegration to their families and/or communities as law-abiding, morally upright and productive residents in the future.
Oreta made the pronouncement despite ongoing deliberations both at the Senate and House of Representatives seeking to lower the age of criminal liability to 12 years old.
The Malabon City government was recently invited in a Senate inquiry to share its practices in running its Bahay Pag-asa.
The Senate noted Malabon is one of the two LGUs in Metro Manila that effectively operates shelter facility and among the only 55 LGUs with functional child-care institutions across the country.