Child rights advocates on Sunday urged barangay officials to ensure that child protection laws are being followed at all times during the coronavirus quarantine period.
Eule Rico Bonganay, Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns secretary general, said child protection laws are still in effect even during public health crisis.
He called on the Duterte administration to implement a proper response to the crisis, a medical solution.
Government officials must observe the proper and appropriate way of handling children violating the rules on curfew, he said.
Bonganay criticized village official Noel Anot Catibayan of Malainen Bago, Naic, Cavite for putting a minor inside a coffin as a punishment for violation of the curfew hours.
“May we remind barangay captain Catibayan that there are existing operational standards in handling children who have violated barangay ordinances, such as curfew. He must be held accountable for his abusive and irresponsible actions that undoubtedly caused trauma to the concerned minors as well as other children in his community,” the Salinlahi official said.
Other child rights violations in relation to the curfew have gone viral in social media, such as minors and other violators who were placed in a dog cage in Barangay Gatid, Sta. Cruz, Laguna, he noted.
“Study the law for children. Don’t punish children; instead, teach them and correct their wrongdoings the proper way. Follow the rules for children. As the head of the community, government officials should extend their patience,” Bonganay said.
The children and the youth are still adjusting from the quarantine situation, he added.
“Punitive act in any circumstances won’t discourage children from doing wrong. You should educate them well. A militarist approach won’t solve this pandemic,” he added.