Press Release
October 10, 2013

Calls for better implementation of laws to protect kids vs abuse, etc

Senator Nancy Binay called for renewed support for children's rights through strict implementation of laws that protect and promote the holistic development of the youth.

"Through the years, we have made great in-roads in establishing the rights and welfare of our children. Many laws have been made to protect the rights of the child. However, there are still incidents that show our incapacity to shield our children from abuse, discrimination and exploitation," Binay said in line with the celebration of the National Children's Month this October.

The lady senator cited the recent armed conflict in Zamboanga City where "child warriors" were allegedly used by the Moro National Liberation Front's (MNLF) rebel faction in their siege of the city.

"I deeply condemn such practices as these minors are robbed of their youth and their future. They are the real victims of this conflict, caught in the crossfire of a war, of which cause they don't really understand. These minors should be treated with utmost care and compassion as they are reintegrated to their communities," Binay added.

She called for the immediate intervention of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide the necessary care that is needed to aid the child victims in the Zamboanga crisis.

Senator Binay also underscored the need for government to fully implement services that will further protect children's rights as stated in the constitutionóthey should be provided with the proper education, complete nutrition and development of their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being.

Binay has earlier expressed concern over the nutritional status of children following a report by the Food and Nutritional Research Institute's (FNRI) in 2011 that showed malnutrition is still widespread in the country, especially in the Visayas. The report showed that a large number of children were born underweight, had heights lower for their age and were suffering from acute malnutrition.

"During the Senate's department budget deliberations, we asked the Department of Health (DOH) for the full implementation of their nutritional programs and we are currently checking if these services and projects were really given to the children," he said.

On the other hand, Binay lauded the United States for recognizing the Philippines for its efforts to counter and eliminate child labor. US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez recently included the Philippines among ten countries that received the highest assessment rating in the annual Child Labor Report by the US Department of Labor (DOL).

The US DOL annual assessment covered 143 countries and territories and was conducted by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs of the DOL.

"This award affirms our efforts to alleviate our children's situation. Kailangan lang nating pagbutihan pa kung ano man ating mga ginawa at ipagpatuloy ang pagsulong sa mga karapatan ng ating kabataan," Binay said.

Under Presidential Proclamation 267, October was dubbed as the National Children's Month when it was issued on September 30, 1993. The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) leads the celebrations with the theme "Kahirapan Wakasan, Karapatan ng Bata Ipaglaban."

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