DSWD urges sensitivity with kids involved in crimes

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    CABANATUAN CITY – Police and village officials, being frontliners in law enforcement, ought to be more sensitive and learned in handling cases of children in conflict with the laws, a ranking social welfare official said Tuesday.

    Telling a child simple statements such as “ o, nagnakaw ka na nanam,” may destroy the minor’s person, said Gemma Gabuya, director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 3 (Central Luzon).

    Gabuya asked Helen Bagasao, city social welfare and development officer here, to continue discussing with law enforcers manners by which they should treat children.

    Gabuya was speaking before stakeholders during the inauguration of the first Bahay Pag-asa Care Center in a 1.1-hectare lot donated by philanthropist Leticia Uy in Barangay Kalikid Sur here. The center which now houses 29 clients that include a 4-yearold boy, was established through a P5-million Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) fund of DSWD and P4-million for its operations and management from the city government.

    Gabuya also urged barangay officials of coming up with detailed records of children within their respective areas. The list, she said, should provide numbers of out-of- school youths, elementary, high school or college students as well as youths in danger of calamities.

    They should have the heart of a social worker, she said.

    Nueva Ecija 3rd District Rep. Rosanna Vergara, meanwhile, expressed opposition to proposal of lowering to nine years the age of children with criminal liability.

    Instead of lowering the age, she said, the government should come up with more care centers. Vergara was one of the legislators who voted against the re-imposition of death penalty.

    Bagasao said children, all boys, in the center were given psycho social services, skills training, functional literacy, value formation , life skills training and physical activities, among others.

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