Strengthening the BCPC

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By Nerie Bayan

ABC Reports

Thursday, May 5, 2011


THE Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) is a council organized at the barangay level to serve as the umbrella organization for all children’s concerns.

It is a council fully harnessed to be an efficient and effective advocate of the child’s rights; a planner and monitor cum evaluator of all children’s programs in the barangay. The BCPC also involves itself in capacity building and resource mobilization for its member-organizations and in making sure that the Children Development Plan is integrated with budget allocation in the Barangay Development Plan.

The organization of the BCPC is provided for by Article 87 of PD 603 (Child and Youth Welfare Code) “Every Barangay Council shall encourage the organization of a Local Council for the Protection of Children.” Its purpose is to ensure the survival, development, protection, and participation of children and youth at the barangay or community level; and to have an organized, effective and responsive community based structure that will promote and guarantee the welfare, safety, health, good moral environment, and wholesome development of children and youth in every barangay.

Statistics acquired from the City Social Welfare and Development Office indicates that there is a significant increase in child abuse cases that are being reported since 2003. The increase in cases reported only proves that there has been a heightened awareness of the people regarding child abuse, and that the people have been more vigilant and assertive in ensuring that the children who suffer such abuse are “saved” and that the needs of these children are addressed by the proper agencies and advocates. The sad thing though is, that such abuse exists within the City and even within the comforts of a home.

Truly enough, the government cannot do it alone as child abuse issues are only one of its concerns which it has to address, apart from other city wide issues such as land use, climate change and environmental protection, health, cleanliness, and peace and order among others. Luckily, there are advocates who come up with programs who supplement the efforts of the government. The Anti-Child Abuse Network (ACAN) is a network whose advocacy is to fight child abuse. It is composed of 28 partner members that include government line agencies, city government and non government organizations. The Liga ng mga Barangay Baguio City Chapter headed by Hon. Joel Alangsab is one of the partner members.

The ACAN’s vision is to have a community where every child is a happy child, protected and nurtured in an environment free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and provided with the opportunity to reach his/her full potential as a productive members of society.

Through the ACAN, a one day seminar has been organized by its member agencies, the Children and Family Services, Philippines (CFSPI), Saleng Foundation, CSWDO, the DILG – Baguio, the Juvenile Justice Network (JJN) and the Liga ng mga Barangay – Baguio Chapter, entitled “Strengthening of the BCPCs in the Barangays” will be held today at the Middle Quirino Hill Barangay. The following barangays were tapped as initial participants: Middle Quirino Hill, East Quirino Hill, West Quirino Hill and Lower Quirino Hill. The other trainings and seminars for the other barangays with established BCPCs shall be held within the coming months. A separate seminar-workshop shall be set for barangays without an organized BCPC.

These efforts and advocacy of non-government agencies who are partner members of the ACAN such as the CFSPI and Saleng Foundation are truly admirable as these are all voluntary in nature, motivated only by their want of a child-abuse free community. Advocacy programs are being conducted to make the community aware of the nature of child-abuse, and what agencies to refer to for assistance or help. A mere truthful phone call reporting a child being abused is already of much relevance in that child’s life.

The government and other agencies are doing their part to address this concern, let us do our part as members of the community. Let us all be vigilant and assertive as each of us has a moral obligation towards our neighbors, more so, to children, immature and fragile, they have their whole lives in front of them. Let us not allow anyone to take that away from them. (nerisbayan@yahoo.com)

“While we try to teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 05, 2011.

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