We are a young population. Latest census says that the median age for the Filipinos is 24 years old, and children population age 0-14 is 34.8 Million.
The call to formulate and establish child protection policies is based on the fact that 40% of the population of the country are children.
The result of the National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children in the Philippines, conducted by the Council for the Welfare of Children and UNICEF in 2015, indicated the prevalence of child violence in the place we considered most safe-in our own homes.
Now we must examine ourselves. What we do and what we do not do; what we say and what we do not say, to our children.
An international media visited Batang Pinangga, and the reporter asked the children why they were in the shelter. “My parents left us; we were many and there was no food; my mother has no money; I was molested”. When further asked about what they liked most in BP: “I can play when I like; I have food; I can go to school; they care for me here”.
Parents and parenting. That’s what protects children from harm, violence, and neglect. The reality remains that many children live in poverty which directly brings abuse and neglect. There are 26M Filipinos who are poor. Children of these families need help the most.
And so that is what we have been doing in Batang Pinangga.
Protecting children, being parents, doing parenting. We check on our child about school; we are aware if our child is happy or sad or angry. We find ways to provide for our child’s needs.
We have been doing this for 18 years now.
So on our 18th year, we make a dedication to all who have come forward to help the children of Batang Pinangga. You have been parents and family to the children when you come and bring food, toys, school supplies, house supplies. When you come to share your memorable family moments. When you come to be with the children, to share what you have and what you are.
We look forward to a good future of the Filipino children. Based on the sustainable development goals of the country, there will be no poor Filipino by year 2040. Now that’s something to be hopeful for.
We are happy in the Foundation that the day will come that children will no longer live in shelters. In the future, there would only be Batang Pinangga.
Cheers to our 18th year, and to the future!