Public urged to report cases of violence against children to ‘break the culture of silence, cycle of abuse’

Published April 7, 2021, 8:31 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

In light of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in areas under the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – along with its partners – called for “heightened vigilance” against child abuse.

In a statement issued Wednesday, April 7, DSWD made the call especially in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal – the areas that are under ECQ from March 29 to April 4 in an effort to curb the spike in coronavirus disease (COVID 19) cases in the country.

DSWD serves as the chair of the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP). Along with its partner-agencies and other non-government organizations, DSWD also urged the local government units to “ensure that all existing local mechanisms in the province up to the barangay level are activated and heightened.”

These, DSWD said, include the Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC), Local Council Against Trafficking – Violence Against Women and their  Children (LCAT-VAWC), Barangay VAWC Desk, and the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC).

DSWD also called on the public to be “vigilant and report cases of all forms of abuse to break the culture of silence and cycle of abuse and protect the children’s rights and welfare.” 

The country, DSWD said, has enacted laws protecting children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, and other conditions prejudicial to their development, such as Republic Act 7610 or Anti-Child Abuse; Republic Act No. 9775, otherwise known as the “Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009; Republic Act 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004; and RA 9208 as amended by RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 – among others.

Despite the continuous threat of COVID-19, DSWD assured that its commitment to address the online and offline sexual abuse and exploitation of children, particularly during ECQ, has not diminished.

During ECQ, DSWD noted that the possible victim-survivors are “locked in with their perpetrators and cannot go outside to seek help.”

Thus, DSWD also called on all member agencies to ensure that the hotlines and helplines for abused children remain open and active which include:

·PNP Patrol 911 911

·PNP WCPC Luzon 0945-863-2235 or (022)420-6460

·PNP WCPC Visayas (032) 410 84 83

·PNP WCPC Mindanao 0928-604-6425 or 0917-180-6037

·PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (02) 723-0401 local 5354 Fax No. (02) 414-1560

·PNP/Smart text ENDOSEC (space) Message and send to 7444-28473

·NBI (02) 523-8231 to 38 local 3454 to 3455

·DOJ Office of Cybercrime (02) 524-82-16

·DSWD Text DSWD <space> blockchildporn <space> URL address and send to 2327, or

·Text blockchildporn <space> URL address and send to 0918-9122813

·DSWD Psychosocial Support Hotline/ RRPTP Hotline – (02) 8931-9141

·Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO)/IACAT- 1343

·Bantay Bata 163