Child’s ‘playground’ now unsafe | Inquirer News
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Child’s ‘playground’ now unsafe

For children, the world is a vast playground where they expect freedom, love and acceptance.

It is saddening to note that, these days, this playground has swings of harm, slides of abuse and seesaws of neglect.

Is this the world we want for our children? Do our children deserve a world like this?


The state recognizes the vital role of children and youth in nation-building. It is mandated to promote and protect children’s physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being.


In the Philippines, it is the policy of the state to provide special protection to children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination, and other conditions that will prevent their full development, including child labor.

The government provides sanction for violations of children’s rights and undertakes programs to prevent crimes against children. It sets up crisis intervention systems to deal with child abuse.

The Constitution acknowledges the role of the youth. To further protect their rights, different laws have been enacted like Presidential Decree No. 603, or the Child and Youth Welfare Code;  Republic Act No.  7610,  Special Protection of Children against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act;  RA 9262,  Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004;

RA 9344, The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006; RA 10630, An Act Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines Amending for the Purpose RA 9344; and RA  10627,  Anti-Bullying Act of 2013.

Different sectors, including the family, educational system and mass media, should work together to protect a child from any form of cruelty.

Philippine laws specify that “cruelty to children” or “child abuse” causes significant harm to a child. This includes failure to prevent serious harm to a child.


All forms of cruelty are damaging and it may be harder to recover from its emotional impact than from the physical effects.

Cruelty to children may be physical, sexual or emotional. It can include neglect and economic deprivation.

A child who is being abused may experience more than one type of cruelty. Discrimination, harassment and bullying are also abusive and can harm a child, both physically and emotionally.

Bullying has long been a problem in schools. But while incidents of bullying happen often, they are usually considered ordinary or normal.

Our own school has had numerous cases of bullying. Once, parents came to the school and attacked their child’s classmates for allegedly hurting their kid. The teacher did not even know about the alleged offense.

Worse, parents enter classrooms, confront suspected bullies and physically attack them even with a teacher present.

But a teacher can also be the bully. One common problem is the teacher embarrassing a student in front of his/her peers. This has serious psychological effects on the child.

There have also been cases of sexual harassment and of teachers having intimate relationships with their students.

These incidents have become so numerous and alarming that it became necessary to pass laws to minimize, if not completely stop, them.

For the laws to be effective, it is necessary to develop communication with children to encourage them to report any abuse they suffer or encounter.

The children are this country’s future. They must be protected from harm. They have the right to live freely. Let us give them that.

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Eric Joe Piano is a Grade 5 Mathematics and Filipino teacher at Ora East Elementary School, Bantay District, Division of Ilocos Sur. E-mail him at [email protected]

TAGS: Children, Education, Learning, playground

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