Agencies join efforts for enhanced child protection

LAGAWE, Ifugao -- Four government institutions have joined efforts towards enhancing child protection services in the province.

The Ifugao Provincial Police Office, Department of Education, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, and the Provincial Health Office signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen efforts for the protection of children in the different municipalities of the province.

This is in response to recent complaints reaching the Office of the Governor regarding incidents of child abuse and children at risk that need to be addressed by concerned agencies.

The MOU states personnel of the four offices will conduct pro-active monitoring of incidents of suspected Violence Against Children, Trafficking in Person, Children Sexually Abused and Exploited, Children at Risk, Children in Conflict with the Law, and Children in Situations of Armed Conflict for appropriate actions.

In the event that sufficient grounds for filling of criminal or administrative charge, a case conference shall immediately be held to map out the appropriate actions for each of the agencies concerned.

In case the complainant is not satisfied with the decision made by concerned agency, the case will be reviewed as basis for further recommendation.

Preparation and filing of administrative charges shall be done by the concerned agency jointly undertaken by designated personnel from each of the four agencies to ensure transparency.

The Women and Child Protection Desk (WCPD) of the municipality where the incident transpired shall facilitate extraction of pieces of evidence by the nearest crime laboratory unit or the physician-on-duty/medico-legal physician. It will also prepare all necessary documents.

WCPD will regularly coordinate with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor on the schedule of court hearings and timely relay of the same to all agencies concerned. (PR)
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