CHILDREN from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) remain vulnerable to sexual abuses, mostly by their fathers as recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic by a non-government organization involved in providing psycho social assistance to abuse women and children.
Carmen Moyaen, executive director of the Child and Family Service Incorporated (CFSI), said that since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, their center gathered 31 cases of abuses against children in CAR.
"Thirty of these cases are sexual abuse and one is physical abuse. The situation of the children that are forced to stay at home due to the pandemic may have aggravated the recorded cases but even before the quarantine period, there are these cases already," Moyaen said during the "Dagyaw" forum of the Department of the Interior and Local Government-CAR.
Because of the massive campaign and partnership established by CFSI with different organizations and agencies aside from capacitating Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children established in the villages, cases of abuse against children are now being reported compared to the past years.
"Having many cases recorded maybe good or bad news because good new since this is being addressed, bad news because the cases are increasing. Recording least number of cases may also be good or bad news, good news because there are minimal cases but there are instances that most of the cases are being settled within the community because of the very unique cultural practices in the Cordillera which is one of the areas that we need to address to also reach out to our elders and the different Indigenous Peoples communities for us to help each other by reporting these child abuse cases so that these cases would not be contained within the communities," the CFSI executive director said.
CFSPI was founded in 1987 as a non-profit, non-stock social service agency as a leading organization in CAR dedicated to the rights of children in need of special protection and the empowerment of women and families.
Its most crucial goal is the prevention of child abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Meanwhile, one area observed by the CFSI are children suffering from depression. Bulk of the organizations financial resources goes to the psychiatric interventions benefiting the children.
"There are instances where because children could not be visited by their relatives or guardians, outdoor activities within the CFSI identified shelters are being done to prevent the children from physically harming themselves which is why we really make sure that these children are provided with interventions that have therapeutic processes with their psychosocial and mental state are being prioritized particularly during this pandemic," Moyaen said.