DSWD targets 80% cut in street children/families by end of 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 18:17

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Tuesday it targets a reduction of about 80 percent in the number of street children/ families in highly-urbanized cities nationwide by the end of 2014.

“The target is not only for street children in Metro Manila, but also those in Davao, Iloilo and other highly- urbanized centers to primarily ensure that children are staying in safe areas and not roaming in the streets,” DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said.

She noted that the plan may look and sound as quite ambitious, but she remains optimistic that in partnership with the local government units (LGUs), the comprehensive program for the sector of street children and their families will certainly be achieved.

Based on DSWD’s record, at least 1,087 street children were provided with educational assistance in 2013.

“A total of 635 children were served in 33 activity centers where they participated in literacy programs, values formation, recreational skills building and orientation on the rights of the child,” the DSWD chief said.

She also said that around 200 street adults were provided with cash-for-work (CFW) assistance amounting to P300 per day as sweepers, park patrols and greeters.

“At least 214 families have acquired skills training on dishwashing, soap making, jewelry, beads making and throw pillow making in coordination with LGUs,” she added.

According to the DSWD, non-collateral and interest-free capital assistance was provided to 165 families who went through those skills training to capacitate them to earn viable income which they can use in renting decent homes instead of dwelling on streets through their push carts.

In addition, the DSWD also assisted about 20 parents of street children by paying house rentals as part of the motivation to prevent them (street families) and their children from going back on the streets as “kariton” dwellers.

Under the said strategy, the street families will eventually be able to pay for their house rental after a period of six months as they earn income under the skills and livelihood trainings provided to them.

Another effort being undertaking by the DSWD to reduce the number of street dwellers is the “Balik Probinsiya” program where the department provides transportation assistance to the street families desiring to return to their provinces of origin.

However, the department clarified that such transportation assistance will be provided only if they (street dwellers) pass the assessment that they have an abode where they can stay and there will be jobs available for them to prevent them from “repeating the cycle of being street dwellers.”