Following the recent enactment of the anti-child marriage law in the Philippines, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte, saying that the act of prohibiting child marriage in the country is another leap in ensuring that all children are protected.
In a press statement, DSWD underscored the importance of ensuring that all children are accorded by the State with “the protection and development that they need.”
“Regardless of practices, traditions, and culture, the DWSD [believes] that the best interest of the child is the prime consideration. The DSWD also agreed that those who will be involved in the facilitation of child marriages should be appropriately punished,” it said.
Under the law, the DWSD will lead the implementation of the Act and will focus on creating appropriate programs that will address the prevalence of child marriage.
“The DSWD will also take an active role in raising awareness about the issue, as part of strengthening the Department’s advocacy to end any form of child abuse,” it added.
The government agency said it was also tasked to work closely with the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) for the issuance of related guidelines and the establishment of clear referral pathways that may be necessary for the popularization and localization of the law.