Trust fund for neglected kids in DSWD bill gets House panel OK
MANILA, Philippines — A proposed legislation that would provide an annual allocation of P50,000 under a special trust fund for every abandoned, neglected, and voluntarily committed child under the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has been approved by the House committee on the welfare of children.
In a statement, Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, the panel chairperson, said neglected children may receive the proceeds from the trust fund once they leave DSWD upon reaching 18 years old. The committee approved the still unnumbered consolidated measure last Monday.
“These neglected children need all the support from the State even after they leave the comfort of DSWD facilities so they can reach their fullest potential as productive adults,” she added.
Under House Bill No. 3, one of the versions of the bill, DSWD is mandated to come up with a comprehensive monitoring system to address the needs of abandoned, neglected or voluntary committed children.
Once enacted into law, a trust fund account in a trust entity will be opened in the name of every covered child under a memorandum of agreement between DSWD and the chosen trust entity. Through funds sourced from regular annual appropriation item in its budget, the agency will deposit P12,500 quarterly in every trust fund until the account matures, unless terminated due to the death or ineligibility of the recipient.
If the child has been rendered ineligible or dies prior to reaching the age of majority, the trust fund for him or her will be forfeited in favor of the State.
The bill states that the financial grant will be revoked when the abandoned, neglected or voluntarily-committed child has:
- Attempted against the life of his fellow abandoned, neglected or voluntarily-committed children or his guardian, ascendants or descendants;
- Abandoned the child-caring institution for a period of six months and efforts have been exhausted to locate him or her within the stated period;
- Been found to be pushing or using prohibited drugs, or otherwise involved in any illegal activity;
- Been found to be living a dishonorable or disgraceful life; and
- Been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.
House Speaker Alan Cayetano, Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, and An Waray party-list Rep. Florencio Noel filed the bills that were consolidated.
Edited by KGA
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