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PIA Press Release
2009/02/13

DSWD IX advocates vs child abuse and exploitation

Zamboanga City (13 February) -- Pursuant to Proclamation No. 731 signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos in 1996, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, along with the Philippine National Police (PNP), other national government agencies, all sectors and organizations, are celebrating the "National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation" on February 8-14, 2009.

According to DSWD Field Office IX Assistant Regional Director Zenaida L. Arevalo, the week is purposely set to promote awareness on the problem of child sexual abuse and exploitation, instill in the general public respect for the laws and ordinances related to the welfare of children, and surveillance and reporting of suspected cases to the DSWD or to law enforcement agencies.

In an interview with Police Senior Inspector Esperanza A. Santiago, chief of the Women and Children's Concern Desk of the Zamboanga City Police Office, she disclosed that for the year 2008 alone, there are a total number of 260 reported cases of violence against children.

Sr. Insp. Santiago bared that among the most common violations of RA 7610, the Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination, are rape, attempted rape, and simple seduction (the intentional touching of private parts) towards children.

Meanwhile, In line with the week-long celebration of the awareness week, the DSWD FOIX will have a radio talk show program on Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, February 14, 2009, discussing about child abuse. Invited to act as resource person is Sr. Insp. Santiago, as well as other DSWD staff. The said activity aims to advocate for the community's active involvement in realizing the threat of child abuse and exploitation through radio.

RA 7610 defines child abuse as the "maltreatment, whether habitual or not of the child which includes any of the following: psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment; any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being; unreasonable deprivation of his basic needs for survival such as food and shelter; or failure to immediately give medical treatment to an injured child resulting in serious impairment of his growth and development or in his permanent incapacity or death."

This year's theme for the awareness week is "Child Sexual Abuse Happens Everywhere: Violence That Must Be Stopped!" (DSWD/PIA ZC) [top]

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