MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development–National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) has urged authorities to properly handle each cases of those violating the imposition of curfew hours before putting the minors’ parents/guardians behind bars.
The agency made the call in relation to the curfew hours which is now being strictly implemented by some barangays and local government units (LGUs) after the pronouncement of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte that it will be among the priorities of his administration which shall operationalize nationwide.
Based on the process of DSWD’s reach-out operation, minors on the streets are brought home for their first offense then a written agreement with their parents/guardians will be secured and they will be provided with counseling to prevent them in lingering on the street again.
For their second offense, the child will be put under custody of CSWD or DSWD depending on the assessment on case of the child and his/her family.
Meanwhile, on the curfew hours being implemented by some barangays and LGUs, on the third offense of minors in the scheduled curfew hours, their parents/guardians will be apprehended instead of them with corresponding fines before leaving jails.
These processes vary across the barangays and LGUs as they have different Implementing Rules and Regulations in their respective ordinances.
With this, the DSWD emphasized that children/minors might be on the streets due to various reasons such as being abused inside their homes, being homeless, no food to eat, peer pressure, among others.
Thus, it is deemed necessary to assess each case for provision of proper intervention to the minors who will be reached-out outside their homes during the scheduled curfew hours.
The DSWD-NCR recommended that barangays/LGUs shall have a processing center to where the reached-out clients shall be assessed and be provided with immediate counseling or other needs as result of the assessment.
The agency also wants to remind the public that reaching-out of clients is not merely about apprehending parents and imposing fines to them but more on ensuring the safety of minors which shall be first met inside their homes.
DSWD-NCR likewise calls for the functionality of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) as a first responder of children’s needs within the community if they will be neglected in their homes. PNA/northboundasia.com