December 5, 2022

Baguio City has noted an increase in cases of child abuse since the start of the year.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office has reported there are already a total of 71 cases of child abuse as of June 15 this year, most of which are cases of sexual molestation.

CSWD Officer Betty Fangasan said out of 71 cases, 59 were female and 19 male child victims.

Among the cases, 20 cases resulted from molestation committed by either a family member, neighbor, or by the male partner; and 18 cases are due to physical abuse.

Two cases have been filed, while the other cases have either been settled or currently discussed among family members.

Fangasan said this year’s number of cases may be considered high compared to the 76 cases recorded for the whole of 2020.

She added the office has deployed social workers to do interventions to the families concerned and some of the victims were taken to the city’s Silungan Center for temporary shelter.

Based on CSWDO’s report, many of the cases may have resulted from the home setup in the current pandemic where school children are confined and doing their lessons in their house.

“Some of the students are not going out and do their modules at home, but some do not want to their modules. Napipilitan sila. This is the burden of the parents who are already tired from work and when they get home, they are required to assist their children. Minsan punung-puno na rin ang guardian and the tendency is nasasaktan nila ang mga bata, which is not supposed to be the case,” Fangasan said during a media briefing on June 16.

She said child abuse incidents within barangays reach their office and attended through interventions since most of those concerned are fully aware of what to do in such situations.

“Fully aware naman ang mga bata ngayon or their neighbors. They call their barangay and the barangay passes it to us for investigation and intervention,” Fangasan said.

The barangay councils for the protection of children in the city also remain active despite the pandemic and are able to continuously monitor the children in their respective areas. – Hanna C. Lacsamana