Creation of special agency pushed to promote children’s welfare

2023 June 14

MANILA – A party-list lawmaker on Wednesday pushed for the creation of a special agency that will promote and safeguard the rights and welfare of children.

In filing House Bill 8163, House Assistant Majority Leader and Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Representative Margarita Nograles said the proposed Philippine Commission on Children (PCCh) will serve as the focal agency responsible for coordinating and enforcing laws pertaining child welfare.

She said the PCCh would be designated as the authority on children’s concerns, rights and advocacy, following an integrated and holistic approach.

Nograles made the proposal in response to the call of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) to strengthen the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), which is the main coordinating body for children in the Philippines.

“To support the Philippines’ cause for, by, and with children, this Congress pursues its indubitable duty to create a more responsive and focused arm of the government that shall protect and promote the rights of children,” Nograles said.

She said the objectives of the proposed commission include formulating policies, setting priorities for child promotion and development programs, conducting research and implementing national policies and pilot projects.

Under the bill, the PCCh will review, monitor and evaluate all policies and programs concerning child rights. It will also advocate for innovative programs and services and facilitate resource mobilization to support its mission.

The PCCh shall be attached to the Office of the President, ensuring its direct involvement in the highest levels of government decision-making.

The Commission will comprise a board of commissioners, including the chairperson and four commissioners responsible for Child Protection, Child Health and Nutrition, Child Development and Child Participation.

The PCCh will collaborate with various government agencies, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to implement child welfare programs effectively.

A Technical Advisory Group will be established to provide recommendations and guidelines for policies and projects related to children’s welfare.

To ensure effective coordination, the PCCh will work in collaboration with Local Councils for the Protection of Children (LCPCs) at the grassroots level, as well as 17 regional committees/subcommittees for the welfare of children (RC/SCWCs) to link national and local government units. 

Filane Mikee Cervantes (PNA)