BARMM solon wants aid for orphans institutionalized

A member of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) parliament has filed a bill before the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to establish a regional system for accredited orphanages.

The 80-member BTA is the interim lawmaking body of the BARMM.

“This is to institutionalize support for the welfare of orphans in the Bangsamoro region,” said BTA–BARMM Member of Parliament (MP), Atty. Maisara Latiph, in a statement Thursday.

She said her bill, once enacted into law, “will help alleviate the condition of every orphan and provide them with the opportunity to live a fulfilled life”.

In her sponsorship bill, Latiph noted the sad reality of orphans that “if foster parents, social workers, or institutions are not there to provide what they need, no one will.”

“This is the time for the government to step in. Under the principle of “parens patriae” (legal protector of citizens), the government should stand in as the parents and caregivers of the orphaned child,” she added.

Parliament Bill 71, or the Bangsamoro Orphanage Act of 2020, also seeks to create a “credible mechanism” that will determine the qualified beneficiaries.

The system will adopt an appropriate, effective, transparent, and cost-efficient method to identify and select beneficiaries, as well as coordinate with other ministries and agencies, including organizations in the private sector, to ensure the full implementation of statutory commitments.

It is also mandated to develop a comprehensive monitoring system to address the needs of orphans.

Latiph said under her bill, the BARMM government, through its implementing ministries, will establish orphanages in every province in the region, primarily through the Ministry of Social Services and Development in coordination with the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government.

“They will lead the central planning, coordinating, and implementing body of the comprehensive program,” she said.

She stressed that the comprehensive support program should provide social welfare and care for orphans, which includes basic needs, physical safety and security, socio-economic needs, educational needs, emotional and spiritual needs, and access to justice.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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