JONNY (real name withheld) enjoyed the presentation prepared by the Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD) of Cebu City Police Office yesterday to open the National Children’s Month celebration.
But the joy of the nine-year-old former street kid, however, was tempered by his longing for his parents.
“Ako ta wish nga magkakita mi karong pasko (I wish that we will meet again this Christmas),” said Jonny, a fourth grader.
He is now in a shelter in Barangay Talamban, Cebu City.
Elvie Codo, a social worker, said the former street children and orphans are sent to schools. The kids were referred to the shelter by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Insp. Arieza Otida, WCPD chief, said that some children experienced physical and sexual abuse from their parents.
“Ang problema gyud naa sa mga ginikanan (The problem is with the parents),” she said.
The theme of the National Children’s Month is focused on fighting child abuse, especially human trafficking.
“Kinahanglan sugpoon gyud nato kining (We should stop) violence against children,” said Otida.
The police official said chil victims of sex trafficking are affected physically and emotionally.
She said the media play a vital role in spreading information to the public about the perils of child abuse.
The National Children’s Month is originally celebrated every October, but it was moved this month with President Benigno Aquino III signing Republic Act 10661.
The law states that it “commemorates the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on November 20, 1989, and seeks to instill its significance in the Filipino consciousness.”
Under RA 10661, an annual program of activities shall be prepared and implemented, with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the National Youth Commission and the Council for the Welfare of Children as lead agencies.