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PIA Press Release

DSWD opens 1st search for child-friendly police station in Davao City

Davao City (7 October) -- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Ester Acebedo-Versoza has opened the table for nomination of police stations as entries to the Search for Child-Friendly Police Station.

Being piloted in Davao City, the Search entries considered for evaluation are those endorsed by City Mayor Sarah Duterte, Versoza said as she explained that member agencies of the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) will assess the entries.

DSWD takes the lead in conducting the Search being the chair of the technical working group of RSCWC.

The first of its kind in the country, the Search came about through the initiative of Police Regional Office XI which endorsed a proposal sometime in 2004 to RSCWC to institutionalize child-friendliness in police stations.

To formulate the Search tool/instrument, a series of consultation was then made among selected police officers from cities and provinces of the region and with non-government organizations (NGOs) working for children and with child representatives.

The Search aims to encourage community people to participate in activities initiated by police officers; encourage healthy environment of the community comfort room for boys & girls, clean & healthy surroundings; guarantee safe, protective place for every child; raise police morale/achievement; extend assistance and support to children.

In a media forum, Versoza was looking at the Search as a way of changing public perception regarding police authorities and, at the same time, make them observe the standards of child-friendliness.

"This can change the perception of the public. Sila mga amigo natin," she said referring to police authorities.

Versoza explained the rationale of holding it first in Davao City saying the Search would have a high chance of being successful as Davao City Police had been known to be among the best performing police office nationwide.

"This will serve as an inspiration to other areas," she said while baring out plans of conducting the Search regionwide next year to cover police stations in cities and municipalities.

More than just looking at the way police officers are treating children in conflict with the law (CICL) or those in need of special protection, the Search will "assess the existing structure, facilities, and personnel complement of police stations/precincts."

It will review the capability, competence and skills of our police force in handling CICL that eventually would improve and sustain the quality of child-friendly service of the Police Station in terms of physical set-up and procedures.

Assessment shall be based on standards set with reference to laws, rules and regulations pertaining to children.

The Search scoring is as follows: physical structure/environment, 40 points; Child Protection Advocacy Programs, 47 points; qualifications, attitude and skills of personnel, 35 points; resource allocation, 15 points, service delivery, 90 points and monitoring and evaluation 8 points.

Police stations vying for the search will be given star ratings based on points garnered: 80 percent or at least 188 pts., one star; 85 percent or at least 199 pts., two stars; 90 percent or 211 pts., three stars; 95 percent or at least 223 pts., four stars and 96 percent or at least 225 pts., five stars. (PIA-XI/RSCWC/jmdabangan) [top]

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