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City social welfare workers are alarmed over the perceived increase in child abuse cases during the first quarter of the year that prompted the city government to undertake close coordination with and the strengthening of the barangay councils for the protection of children (BCPC).
City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) officer-in-charge Liza Bulayongan stated that for the first quarter of this year, there were already 34 reported child abuses cases with 21 females victims while 13 are males.
She claimed that sexual molestation topped the abuses committed against the children with 18 followed by 9 physical abuse cases, 6 psychological abuse cases and 1 neglect.
Last year, the CWDO reported some 95 child abuse cases committed in the various barangays in the city.
Of the abused children last year, 72 are females and 23 are males who are now in the custody of different shelters.
Sexual abuse still topped the most number of reported child abuses cases during the said period with 48 followed by 34 physical abuse cases, 7 psychological abuse cases – 7 and neglect cases – 6.
For the children in conflict with the law, the CSWDO recorded some 34 cases during the first quarter of this year with theft as the most common crimes committed.
From January to December 2021, some 70 children in conflict with the law cases were reported with 45 unfiled and 25 filed cases filed against the arrested culprits.
Moreover, Bulayongan stipulated that on the status of the child in conflict with the law cases, some 42 cases are undergoing intervention, 15 cases undergoing diversion program, 6 have suspended sentence, 5 cases are undergoing trial and 2 cases had the suspects released on cognizance.
The offenses committed by the arrested child violators include physical abuse with 23, followed by theft – 15, sexual abuse and violation of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Law – 8 each, trespassing – 6, murder, homicide, violation of RA 7610 or the Antichild Abuse Law and illegal gambling – 2 each and violation of RA 8369, violation of RA 10627, violation of RA 9995 and violation of RA 9262 or the Violence Against women and Children Act – 1 each.
Under the youth sector, Bulayongan disclosed that the local youth development council continues to conduct their regular quarterly meetings to discuss pertinent issues and concerns confronting the youth in the city and to formulate the appropriate interventions needed to effectively and efficiently address the same.
The said council also spearheaded one blood-letting activity last March 12, 2022 with 61 donors where recipients of the activity are the children and youth in need of blood supply.