DSWD reminds parents: Child neglect is child abuse
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has reminded parents and guardians that “child neglect is child abuse” and those who renege on their duty provide for their children’s needs may be charged with child abuse.
The department issued the warning after the agency noted an increase in the number of street children, especially in major cities.
DSWD acting Secretary Virginia Orogo said that parents who allow their children to loiter on the streets to ask for alms or sell items may be held liable for child abuse, an act punishable by law.
“Some parents have forgotten that child neglect is child abuse, [which is] considered as a crime under Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination,” Orogo said in a statement on Thursday.
“Parents are responsible for taking care and providing for their children’s needs. No child should be on the streets, exposed to danger at their young age,” she explained.
To address the situation, the DSWD said it will soon launch “Silungan sa Barangay,” a project for street children and homeless families.
The project will provide a temporary shelter which will also serve as a learning and livelihood center for children and families at risk.
The Silungan sa Barangay project will complement DSWD’s #HelpHomelessPH campaign launched last year, Orogo said.
The DSWD also appealed to all government agencies, civil society organizations, private corporations, and the general public to help the cause and respond to the issue of homelessness.
“The issue of homelessness is indeed big, and the DSWD cannot do it alone,” Orogo noted. “We reiterate our call to all sectors in society to lend a hand, contribute their available resources and work with us in finding the right help for homeless Filipinos, especially the street children.” /ee