By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
The Iloilo City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) is set to prioritize the reorientation of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) in the city to ensure the well-being of every child in terms of health, nourishment, and shelter.
CSWDO head Teresa Gelogo emphasized the need to strengthen the BCPCs in the city, especially with the recent election of new barangay officials.
“Gusto namun nga i-strengthen ang atun nga BCPC since nga damo kita bag-o nga mga barangay nga nagpungko. There is a need to reorient sila sang sila nga functions as BCPC organizations,” said in a press conference on the National Children’s Month on Friday.
The BCPC serves as a committee responsible for planning, implementing activities, and addressing children-related issues. Its members include representatives from the community, with the village captain as the chairman.
Gelogo noted that they will collaborate with the Department of Local and Government Unit for the reorientation program, with a specific emphasis on responsible parenthood and other community-based initiatives.
She also urged parents and barangay officials to monitor the children actively, especially in light of the increasing number of curfew offenses among minors.
The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) said there are 128 offenses in curfew among minors since the crackdown of their apprehension of curfew violators last month. The district of Molo recorded the highest number of curfew offenses.
Earlier this October, Mayor Jerry Treñas ordered the CSWDO and the ICPO to conduct saturation drives in all districts to ensure compliance with our curfew for minors ordinance.
Treñas’ directive comes after a riot involving minors from Rizal Pala-Pala Zone 1, City Proper district led to the death of a 16-year-old boy.
While acknowledging that the BCPCs in the 180 barangays of the city in the past years have been properly oriented and active, Gelogo highlighted the need to reinforce diversion program strategies to address various issues affecting children.
In addressing the issues of the children, the CSWDO said they will primarily involve the parents for the latter to model positive behavior and to create confidence in the parent-child relationship.
“Ipatawag natun ang aton mga ginikanan kag konsultahon. At least, ma-involve sila sa participatory planning sa pagresolve sang problema nga sa ila man naghalin […] Ang mga problema, ibalik natun sa community, sa parent mismo para nga sila mismo makahimo sang solution […] That will be the process that we will conduct,” she explained.
To pilot the new strategy, Gelogo said they will conduct a situation analysis in the district of Molo If found successful, the CSWDO will replicate it to other districts in the city.
“We will discuss with them ngaa natabo ini, ano nga mga possible causes ngaa naga gwa ang ini nga mga concerns kag kung ano ang possible effect sa ila,” she said.
Jose Danilo Borce, former senior president of the Iloilo City Federation of BCPC, emphasized the need to intensify law enforcement and involve children in creating the programs and interventions.
“Aside from the intervention coming from the duty-bearers, it is also important to get the viewpoints of the children on their recommendations and the issues that affect them.
Serving as a child representative, Borce noted that, on paper, the BCPCs in the city demonstrate activity, but in terms of practical implementation, they often fall short.
“Madamo sang complaints coming from child representatives nga wala man sila ginapa attend sa meeting sa barangay nila,” he said.