By: Marites Badilla
ADDRESSING the problem of street children is not only a concern of the national government (NG), according to the Department of the Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo said the local government units (LGUs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and civil society organizations (CSOs) must also do their role and duties to the street children, specially their problems cover housing, education, health, love and protection, family and community support, and livelihood.
Study showed that as of 2016, the country has more than 30,000 street children.
“We need to intensify our collaboration with LGUs, NGOs, CSOs, and partner-beneficiaries to efficiently and effectively deliver the programs and services needed by street dwellers,” Taguiwalo asserted.
“We [also] need to push for meaningful and sustainable economic reforms for the poor that can empower them and help them to become productive citizens,” the leftist Cabinet official further explained.
Economic reform is undoubtedly a strategic complementary factor in addressing the street children’s enormous problems.
She added that the four institutions in the Philippine society should also “ensure the regular monitoring of children at-risks on the streets and the importance of maintaining strong coordination with different agencies.”
She also highlighted the need to push for significant economic programs and reforms that will help poor families.
DSWD’s resolve for the collaboration and unity of the NG, LGUs, NGOs, and CSOs to address the problems of the street children was ascertained in a recently-held 2-day workshop/seminar at the Asian Institute Management (AIM) in Makati City.
Aside from DSWD main office, others who actively participated in the workshop-seminar were DSWD – National Capital Region (NCR) Director Vincent Andrew Leyson, DSWD-Social Technology Bureau (STB) Director Thelsa Biolena, Assistant Secretary for the Office of the Secretary Group (OSG) Aleli Bawagan, Sama-Bajau community organizers, partner-beneficiaries, Quezon City Social Services Development Department (SSDD) Youth Welfare Coordinator Nonie Metran, and DSWD-Social Marketing Service (SMS) Director Cezario Joel Espejo.