Mindanao Examiner Photo.
MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 15, 2011) – The Philippine Senate has approved on final reading the Senate Bill 2486 or an Act that would strengthen and propagate foster care for the abused, abandoned, neglected and other children with special needs.
Under the proposed measure, children under the age of 18, who are orphaned, abused or abandoned; whose family members are unable to provide the child with adequate care; or who committed a minor offense but is released on recognizance or is in custody supervision, among others, may be placed on foster care of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – licensed parents.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jose Ejercito, Jr. said that an institutionalized foster care system could answer today’s problem of juvenile delinquents or the young who are involved in crimes and are in conflict with the law.
“While foster care is more of the long-term approach to the problem, I personally maintain that the youth must be provided special protection from all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. We must not let the youth live on and roam the streets where they are exposed to all types of danger and harmful influences and unfortunately become a menace to society,” Estrada, also the principal author of the Foster Care Act, said.
“Instead of putting the child in an institution, foster homes can be the best substitute because of the social and emotional values can offer to children who are in need of love, care and attention and can provide an atmosphere where a child can experience a healthy family life,” he added.
Estrada also urged his colleagues to move toward the enactment of the proposed measure, amid calls to revisit and amend the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. A similar bill was approved by the House of Representatives on final reading on May 23, 2011.