Child representative to sit in RDC 8
By Lanie Pitao-Tupaz
Naval, Biliran (31 October) -- A child representative will soon sit in the Regional Development Council (RDC) as part of the Social Development Committee to raise issues concerning the situation and status of children in region 8.
A child representative from World Vision of Maasin City was recently elected as president of the regional child representative during the children's consultation/congress on October 27-28 at the Biliran Garden Resort, Naval, Biliran, according to Ms. Flordeliza Trani, Biliran Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer.
The two-day congress which was sponsored by the United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) was attended by 22 children representative from the different provinces and cities in Eastern Visayas , she added.
Part of the regional children's congress was the presentation of situationer on children, UN convention on the rights of children, duties and responsibilities of children and parents, challenges/concerns of children in the third millennium, threats and effects of cyber technology and globalization, and programs and services for children.
The 22 participants who were chosen from among out-of-school children, in-school children, sexually abused and physically abused children made an interactive discussion on the issues presented.
As for the province of Biliran , an increase in sexual abuse (rape, incest, and acts of lasciviousness) was noted in 2005.
Data gathered from Ms. Zenaida T. Caņete, DSWD Senior Social Worker, it showed a total of 14 reported cases of sexual abuse in 2004, 19 reported cases in 2005 and 18 reported cases as of October this year.
However, a decrease was noted in the case of physical abuse such as neglect, to include street children, and child labor, Provincial data showed 30 reported cases of physical abuse in 2004, 12 reported cases in 2005 and seven reported cases as of October 2006.
The provincial government of Biliran maintains a Lingap Center ready for protective custody of child-victims of sexual and physical abuses, and are having threats from their aggressors and the community.
The increase of reported sexual abuses despite the enactment of laws proctecting children alarms social workers in the province.
National laws protecting children include Republic Act 7610 which is a special protection of children against discrimination and exploitation.
Republic Act 9262 is an anti-violence against women and and their children act while Republic Act 9344 is a juvenile justice welfare act which concerns children in conflict with the law.
With the number of abused children despite the imposition of laws protecting them, the child victims and child representatives are hopeful their ordeal be relieved and their voices be heared in the Regional Development Council. (PIA Biliran) [top]