The chairman of the House committee on appropriations on Saturday rallied behind efforts of the Philippine Plan of Action to End Violence Against Children.
Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, the panel’s chairman, made his commitment during the launch of the PPAEVAC last week where he was the guest speaker.
“The House of Representatives, and Congress as a whole, is with you in this commitment to address violence against children,” Nograles said in his speech.
Nograles said protecting children “is our individual responsibility,” referring to a United Nations Children’s Fund study that eight out of 10 children in the Philippines have experienced physical, psychological, and sexual violence.
As per the National Baseline Study on Violence against Children, three out of five Filipino children experienced a form of physical violence in various settings, or were reported to have some form of psychological violence in any setting, it said.
It also bared that one in five children aged below 18 underwent some form of sexual violence.
“We each have an accountability to support this Plan of Action; whether as an institution, as a family, or as an individual. I, therefore, enjoin our partners in government, the academe, local organizations and civil society—and especially our children and youth here today—to be an active part in implementing this Plan of Action,” Nograles said.
He said both houses of Congress will come up with policy reforms to ease bottlenecks in implementing relevant programs as well as allocate the necessary funds to roll out the programs that each government agency is tasked under the PPAEVAC.
The House of Representatives, in particular, will play a key role for having “the power of the purse,” or the power to determine how government funds are spent.
“As chair of the Committee on Appropriations, I shall commit to proactively advocate to my colleagues in Congress to allow for strategic resource allocation and mobilization to implement the PPAEVAC nationwide, particularly among local governments,” Nograles said.
“This means we shall be responsible for ensuring our national and local operational support to the programs detailed in the Plan of Action will be sustained,” he added.
“We will also continue working with all our partners, and remain open to the policy dialogue issues that we will discuss with all concerned institutions in government and civil society—including UNICEF and the members of the National Network to End Violence Against Children.
He said the PPAEVAC intends to implement the findings of the NBS-VAC and the Systematic Literature Review of the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children (SLRD-VAC), Nograles said.
“The launch of the NBS-VAC two years ago, and PPAEVAC today form solid basis in how we will take this Plan of Action forward,” he added.
Nograles also highlighted in his speech the recent actions of Congress that contribute to the goal of children’s protection.
“For fiscal year 2018, Congress has provided budgetary support to the programs of the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), for the printing of PPAEVAC, for seminars and for the launching of the plan.
“Also included in the 2018 National Budget, on the part of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), is the budgetary requirement needed to support violence against children, to be charged against the DSWD’s ‘Protective Social Welfare Program,’ particularly under activity ‘Services for residential and center-based clients’ with an appropriation of P3.855 billion,” he said.
“Relatedly, the amount of P156.011 million is appropriated in the budget of the DSWD to support its new project, ‘Reducing Vulnerabilities of Children from Hunger and Malnutrition in ARMM or Bangsamoro Umpungan sa Nutristyon (BangUN),’” added Nograles.
The BangUN pilot areas are located in eight municipalities in Maguindanao (Datu Salibo, Datu Piang, Datu Saudi Amputuan, Mamasapano, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Guindulungan, Shariff Aguak, Talayan) and three municipalities in Sulu (Jolo, Patikul and Maimbung).
The target number of children to be served through this program is about 7,000, Nograles said.