The Department of Social Welfare and Development and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with Japanese non-profit group, A Child's Trust is Ours to Nurture (ACTION), signed a capacity building program to boost house parenting standards in child care institutions in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Present during the signing were DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, DSWD-NCR Director Vincent Leyson, Region 3 Director Gemma Gabuya, and Project Manager Hajime Yokota of ACTION.
Sec. Taguiwalo welcomed the cooperation saying that, "the project supports the present administration's anti-poverty agenda of reaching out to marginalized children and communities and providing them opportunities to improve their plight."
For his part, ACTION Project Manager Hajime Yokota said, "The cooperation expands our previous initiative on training house parents or care givers working in child care facilities in Central Luzon in 2003. This time, we aim to train about 280 house parents and social workers attending to vulnerable, impoverished children in NCR."
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2012 showed that poverty incidence is high in the children sector (35.2%) versus other sectors. Impoverished children are also most vulnerable to violence, exploitation, abuse, and discrimination.
In the Philippines, the DSWD and its accredited childcare facilities throughout the country provide interventions to such children cases. The lack of house parenting or care giving standards in said facilities prompted DSWD, JICA, ACTION to set a capacity building program to improve the knowledge, and skills of child care workers in the facilities.
"JICA aims to support the Philippines' poorest sectors overcome their vulnerability. This cooperation hopes to also ensure that everyone, including marginalized children, will benefit from the economic growth the Philippines achieved. Improving child care standards of house parents and social workers is crucial in teaching children to become self-reliant and productive members of society," said JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito.
The project also aims to provide life skills training to children in residential institutions in Region 3.
The cooperation is part of the JICA Partnership Program, a scheme under the agency's Official Development Assistance (ODA) that taps Japanese non-government organizations, local governments, and academe to address social and economic development issues at the grassroots level.
DSWD Region 3, JICA and ACTION previously held trainings for about 250 house parents in 38 residential facilities in Central Luzon before the expansion to NCR.
Source: Philippine Information Agency