THE Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions, Inc. (MMCEAI) in Davao City said that it has recorded a total of 132 cases of children of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) being abused and molested.
MMCEAI executive director Inorisa Sialana-Elento, during the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday, November 27, at The Annex of SM City Davao, said that from 2014 to 2017, their data shows that there are various cases of abuses against the children left behind by their parents.
Although she didn't exactly have the figures on the kind of cases, she said that this also includes abandonment of OFW, abandonment by foreign nationals and abandonment by parents and guardians.
"Mataas din dito ang sexual abuse, teenage parents or pregnancy and school dropouts," she said.
Internet addiction is also one of the concerns among the youth due to lack of guidance from their OFW parents.
Last month, the organization gathered over 100 participants during the series of congressional district Anak OFW Workshop Consultation last October 16, 18, and 21 attended by some children of active OFWs wherein 20 of which were experiencing sexual abuse.
"We made a silent shout box and there are cases of sexual abuse," Sialana-Elento said, adding that there are also physical abuse, verbal abuse by guardian and economic abuse, abortion, illegal drugs and bullying.
Thus, they are seeking the government's assistance to help these children through monitoring and providing their needs in the absence of their parents.
Also, they urged the local government units to create opportunities and provide employment for the parents of these children so they would no longer need to go abroad.
They are also pushing for the establishment of a Migrant Desk in Barangays to look after the situation and issues that OFWs and their families are facing.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on November 28, 2017.
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