February 9, 2023

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 and strengthening of the barangay councils for the protection of children (BCPC).

City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) Officer-in-Charge Liza Bulayungan said for the first quarter of this year, there were already 34 reported child abuses cases with 21 female victims and 13 males.

She said sexual abuse topped the abuses committed against the children with 18 followed by nine physical abuse cases, six psychological abuse cases, and one case of neglect.

Last year, the CWDO reported 95 child abuse cases committed in the various barangays in the city.

Of the abused children last year, 72 are female and 23 are male who are now in the different shelters.

For the children in conflict with the law, the CSWDO recorded 34 cases during the first quarter of this year with theft as the most common crime committed.

From January to December 2021, 70 children in conflict with the law cases were reported with 45 unfiled and 25 filed cases filed against the arrested culprits.

Bulayungan said on the status of the child in conflict with the law cases, 42 cases are undergoing intervention, 15 cases are undergoing diversion program, six have suspended sentence, five cases are undergoing trial, and two suspects were 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 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Law, eight each; trespassing, six; murder, homicide, violation of RA 7610 or the Anti-child Abuse Law and illegal gambling, two 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, one each.

Under the youth sector, Bulayungan said the Local Youth Development Council continues to conduct regular quarterly meetings to discuss the issues and concerns confronting the youth in the city and to formulate the appropriate interventions.

The council also spearheaded one blood-letting activity last March 12 with 61 donors. – PIO release