PGMA visits Alabang temporary shelter for abused female minors
Manila (3 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered yesterday the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to locate possible markets for the products made by close to 200 female minors who are housed at the DSWD's Marillac Hills, a pioneering halfway home for abused girls from all over the country.
"Think of something (products) more in demand," advised the President who motored to the temporary shelter in Alabang, Muntinlupa City after dropping the time capsule that signaled the start of construction for a C-5 fly-over in Sucat, Paranaque City.
The temporary home in Alabang houses 166 female minors in especially difficult situations -- young offenders or those in conflict with the law, sexually-abused/exploited girls and unwed mothers, among others.
President Arroyo treated the young residents to two-piece chicken lunch packs complete with three-flavor ice cream from three "sorbeteros."
Before the covered court lunch where the "residents" themselves treated the Chief Executive to dances and songs, President Arroyo toured the facilities of the said DSWD complex where she witnessed some of the girls busy sewing -- one of the DSWD's three "productivity" projects that include cosmetology and baking.
The President was also shown the stuffed toys and the pastries that the girls baked, including 'food for the gods' containing dates which, according to Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, were donated by the Saudi Arabian government.
President Arroyo inquired with Marillac head social worker Siony Flores about how birthdays are celebrated, and where the girls go after they leave the home, what schools they go to, what scholarships they avail of, what jobs they enter, and if they still get in touch after they leave the home.
Most of the girl residents were in their high school uniforms as the DSWD complex houses the Jose Fabella Memorial High School. Six of the girls had just given birth to their babies as a result of their past abuse.
The Marillac "residents" are taken care of by 82 DSWD personnel at a ratio of about two girls per worker.
The President was also joined in her lunch treat by Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, Muntinlupa Mayor Aldrin San Pedro, and Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn who was also visiting Marillac when the President's party arrived. (OPS) [top]