June 21, 2024

The National Authority for Child Care (NACC) is monitoring 23 Facebook pages selling Filipino children online in the guise of adoption.

NACC Executive Director Janella Estrada said the Facebook pages have been reported to the Philippine National Police.

“The PNP is currently working on leads and follow-ups. We sent a letter to Facebook Meta Philippines but we haven’t received a reply and (Department of Social Welfare and Development) Sec. Rex Gatchalian committed to help in writing a letter to Meta Philippines,” she said.

Estrada said these Facebook pages have thousands of followers where children are being sold at P10,000 to P100,000 each.

“Those offering babies, they do their transactions on these pages. Actually, they’re already looking for agents and brokers for adoption while the babies are still in their biological mothers’ wombs,” she added.

Earlier, the PNP-Women and Children Protection Center rescued an eight-day-old child.

The child’s 29-year-old mother, Ma. Chariza Rivera Dizon, was arrested by the police for trying to sell the baby.

Arjay Malabanan, 37, was also arrested by the police for serving as an agent.

Dizon wanted to sell the child for P50,000 while Malabanan added P40,000 for helping to sell the child.

Apart from coordinating with the PNP, Estrada said the NACC partners with different local government units to strengthen Philippine Foster Care Program.

Under Republic Act 11642, adoptions conducted outside the national care guidelines are considered a form of human trafficking and a crime.

Estrada said the penalty for Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act is 20 years to life imprisonment and fine of P1 million to P5M.

The penalty for qualified trafficking is life imprisonment and a fine of P2M to P5M.

Article 4, Section 7 of RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, states that child trafficking carries a penalty of reclusion temporal (12 years imprisonment) to reclusion perpetua (up to 40 years imprisonment). – PNA