House bill seeks the creation of a body that will protect children’s rights
MANILA, Philippines — A commission that will focus on the welfare and rights of children should be created so that they will be protected from abuse and violence.
This is what Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list representative Margarita Nograles said on Wednesday.
She made this statement to get the support of other lawmakers as she pushed for the formation of an agency called Philippine Commission on Children (PCCh).
The establishment of such a commission is contained in House Bill 8163 that Nograles authored and filed last May 17.
“The PCCh will review, monitor, and evaluate all policies and programs concerning child rights. It will also advocate for innovative programs and services, and facilitate resource mobilization to support its mission,” Nograles said.
Under the proposal, the commission will be placed under the Office of the President.
Currently, government has a Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC).
This is an attached agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
According to CWC’s website, it is “mandated to coordinate the implementation and enforcement of all laws; formulate, monitor and evaluate policies, programs and measures for children.”
If Nograles’ bill is enacted, CWC will be abolished.
Its budget, personnel, and membership will be transferred to PCCh.
This is not the first time CWC’s effectivity is put under scrutiny.
In September 2019, Senator Imee Marcos had doubted the relevance of CWC.
She had observed the council’s funding went to capital outlays or expenditures like equipment, instead of accomplishing projects that would benefit children.
The lawmaker had expressed her lament during the hearing on the proposed 2020 budget for DSWD.