Gov’t, private groups join hands to end violence vs. kids

MANILA Government and private organizations on Wednesday called for an end to all forms of violence against children.

During a media forum in Quezon City, Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy said parents and guardians should not resort to corporal punishment just to instill discipline in children.

"You don't have to physically punish your children just to discipline them, the House committee on welfare of children chairperson said in line with the observance of National Children's Month.

Dy also cited the latest survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority which shows that 80 percent of Filipino children and youth have been physically, psychologically and sexually abused or violated either at home or in school.

To address such abuses, Dy said the lawmakers are pushing for some of the proposed bills in Congress aimed at curbing, if not stopping, violence against children.

She said they proposed a measure seeking a national curfew hour bill to discipline the children at home so they know not to be in the street during a certain period.

We are also discussing a bill imposing a stricter penalty on cyber-bullying or cybercrimes, she added.

Dy also said there is also a pending bill in Congress, prohibiting child marriage in the country.

Meanwhile, Mitch Cajayon-Uy, executive director of the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), noted three out of five children suffer physical, psychological and sexual abuse, especially at home.

"Maganda sana kung mai-detail pa ang mga ganitong sumbong (It's better if such complaints would have more details), Uy said.

Uy added one out of five children below 18 years old suffer violence at home.

Kahit sabihin na nasa eskwelahan, na dapat ay pangalawang bahay o extension, kung baga, nasaan na ang comfort, safety hindi pa rin naibibigay ang proteksyon sa bata (Even if it's said they're in the school, which should be the second home or extension, where is the comfort, safety the protection on children is still not being provided), she said.

Whether abroad ang parents, ang bata ay dapat binibigyan ng tamang attention at communication. Pwede rin namang guardian lang ang tumingin sa kanya, dapat lamang ay naa-address ang kanyang pangangailangan (Whether the parents are abroad, the child should be given the proper attention and communication. The guardian can also look after them, only that their needs should be addressed), Uy said.

This children's month is also a call for parenting concerns, parenting issues to end violence against women and children, she added.

On the other hand, lawyer Albert Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Foundation, cited a national-based study on children which says most of the children have suffered emotional, physical and psychological abuse not only at home but also in school.

Ngayong Children's Month, 'wag nating kalimutan na mataas pa rin ang rate ng malnutrition, severe malnutrition (This Children's Month, let's not forget that the rate of malnutrition, severe malnutrition is still high), Muyot said.

Ang mga batang Pilipino ay maliliit, hindi dahil tayo ay maliliit (The Filipino children are small not because we are small), but because of the malnutrition, Muyot, a former undersecretary at the Department of Education (DepEd), added.

Muyot also worked with the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund before his stint at the DepEd.

Mataas ang incidence ng mga batang di kumakain bago pumasok sa school sa mga (The incidence of children not eating before going to school are high in) geographically and disadvantaged areas, especially in the rural areas, Muyot said.

Maraming bata sa school na hindi maganda ang oral hygiene na sira-sira ang ngipin pagpasok sa school (There are many children in school without proper oral hygiene who have bad teeth upon entering school), he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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