MANILA, Philippines—United Nationalist Alliance candidate for Senator, Cagayan Representative Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr., stated his bent on championing the welfare of children, especially those who are living in food-insecure households.
He pointed out that hunger in the family could lead to other problems like abandonment, exploitation or even children who are abducted or reported missing.
“Equally important as my advocacy for food sovereignty is my concern for the welfare of children who are rendered helpless by poverty and other circumstances,” Enrile said in a recent interview with Radyo INQUIRER 990 AM.
He cited alarming reports that close to 40 children have been missing in Metro Manila since January last year.
Despite efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which created “Task Force Sagip
Angel” to focus on unsolved incidence of child abductions in the cities of Taguig, Parañaque and Quezon, Enrile also wants measures that will clearly address this issue.
“It is unfortunate that we do not have the appropriate laws that cover cases of child abductions. While Republic Act (RA) 7610 defines different forms of child abuse as criminal offenses such as physical abuse, neglect, and cruelty, among others, there is nothing that provides a clear guideline on missing or abducted children,” Enrile added.
Millions of Filipino children, he said, are victims of exploitation as child laborers and are used by illegal drug syndicates as couriers.
He calls on all concerned government agencies such the Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development “to pool their resources together to help create a social context that will ensure the safety and protect the rights of Filipino children.”