Lapid seeks moratorium on kids aging out of foster care during pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Lito Lapid has filed a bill that seeks a moratorium on aging out of foster care during the state of public health emergency that was declared due to the Covid-19, and for six months thereafter.
Lapid said his Senate Bill No. 2050 would amend a provision of the Republic Act No. 10165 or the Foster Care Act of 2012 to include the proposed moratorium.
“When these children age out of foster care arrangements, they most likely don’t have families, relatives and even close friends who can temporarily shelter them and provide them with basic necessities. They may end up returning in crowded institutional care facilities or orphanages, or worse, become homeless and live in the streets,” he said.
Under the bill, children who were under foster care during the start of the state of public health emergency declared under Presidential Proclamation No. 922 series of 2020 but have aged out prior to the effectivity of the proposed measure, shall be entitled to return to foster care, if requested, according to the senator.
He said the bill also provides that during the moratorium period, both the foster children and the foster parents shall continue to receive the assistance and incentives under Section 21 or the Foster Child Subsidy and Health Insurance and Section 22 or the Support Care Services of the Foster Care Act.
Lapid added it has been reported that the Covid-19 pandemic has a “potentially far-reaching, long-term negative impact” on children in the form of increasing incidents of domestic violence, child labor, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, limited or no education and other forms of abuse or violation of their rights.
“This negative impact is even more pronounced in vulnerable sectors of this age group such as abandoned, neglected, orphaned, rescued or surrendered children,” the senator said.
He noted that such children are commonly not equipped with sufficient social networks and support systems from whom they can depend on or who are capable of assisting them during the pandemic.
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