The Pasay City Government, through the Pasay City Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), regularly conducts programmed rescue operations of street children throughout the year within the City and not just for the Papal Visit.
PSWDO Head Rosalinda Orobia said that “the continuous year-long rescue operation are scheduled based on pre-planning and pre-programming of the mission to save children who are born on the streets and children who live in the streets.”
“It is because of this continuous rescue operations within 2014, especially December, that the number of rescued children have markedly decreased. The rescue operations is a year-round standard activity. It is not because of the Papal Visit,” Orobia stressed.
The PSWDO conducts four (4) rescue operations are every month where children from Pasay temporarily and safely stay at children’s home. This serves as a home for the rescued street children while the Social Development Center located at the MIA that can shelter almost a hundred children is still under renovation.
Children at the center are safely cared for a week or less, and as soon as individual Case Conferences for each child have been conducted with the presence of the parent/s, the Barangay Captain and an assigned social worker, the child will be released to his or her parent/guardian.
Meanwhile, non-Pasay street children are brought to the Nayon ng Kabataan in Mandaluyong and the Haven for Children in Muntinlupa. Both are youth homes under the care and management of the DSWD-National.
Pasay City Administrator Atty. Dennis Acorda said that “the City made it its mission to care for our children. We implement programs and projects specifically for children from birth to education to health care, among others.”
“Street children, for instance, are being rescued from the streets, rigidly undergo counseling together with their parents and are given education and the needed assistance towards their integration to mainstream society,” Atty Acorda said.
Acorda added that “the rescue operations are conducted on a planned and periodic basis throughout the year, not because of the Papal Visit alone.”
Atty. Acorda stressed that the children that were reportedly to be detained during the Papal visit are not from Pasay City and emphasized that “we have no cases of abuse or any related violation among any of our social workers in the City.”