House body okays bill on protecting children

in areas of armed conflict
The House Committee on the Welfare of Children has reported out for floor
deliberation a measure protecting the Filipino children in any part of the country where
there are armed conflicts between the government forces and rebel groups.
Rep. Aurora Cerilles (nd !istrict" #amboanga del $ur%" chairperson of the House
body" said the bill (H& '(() in substitution of the original H& *++% declares unlawful the
acts of ,illing" torture" intentional maiming" or rape of children" cruel treatment"
abduction" using them as hostages" and recruitment of children into government armed
forces and other armed groups.
Cerilles also said the bill prohibits the denial of humanitarian access and or
assistance to children" attac,s on public structures or places where children are usually
found- and hamleting" food bloc,ade" intentional armed conflict delays and false reporting
of a child in custody" and false branding of children.
The measure shall provide special protection from all forms of abuse" violence"
neglect" discrimination and other conditions pre.udicial to the development of children in
situations of armed conflict and internally displaced.
The measure" to be ,nown as $pecial /rotection of Children in $ituations of Armed
Conflict Act" shall fully implement the protection guaranteed under the Convention on the
Rights of the Child" its 0ptional /rotocol on the 1nvolvement of Children in Armed
Conflict" and all other core human rights treaties" particularly" the 1nternational Covenant
on Civil and /olitical Rights and the Convention Against Torture and 0ther Cruel"
1nhuman or !egrading Treatment or /unishment" among others.
The measure directs the institutionali2ation of policies" programs" procedures" and
services that would facilitate the rescue" release" rehabilitation" and reintegration of
children in situations of armed conflict with their families and communities.
3nder the bill" parental accountability of children in situations of armed conflict is
sub.ect to the e4isting provisions of /residential !ecree 56+ or the Child Welfare Code"
the $pecial /rotection of Children Against Child Abuse" 74ploitation and !iscrimination
Act" Republic Act 869 or the Anti:Traffic,ing 1n /ersons Act" Republic Act 8+* on the
elimination of worst forms of child labor" and Republic Act *6+5' or the 74panded Anti:
Traffic,ing 1n /ersons Act.
The measure also grants immunity from suit to anyone who ensures the safety of
and provides assistance to children involved in armed conflict.
NR # 3570
AUG 26, 2014
Criminal cases against children involved in armed conflict shall immediately be
dismissed and the child shall be referred to the ;ocal $ocial Welfare and !evelopment
0ffice (;$W!0%" which will assess the child" determine the release to the custody of the
parents" or refer the child for prevention" rehabilitation and reintegration.
The bill mandates the Armed Forces of the /hilippines (AF/%" /hilippine <ational
/olice (/</%" &ureau of =ail >anagement and /enology (&=>/%" !epartment of $ocial
Welfare and !evelopment (!$W!%" <ational Commission on 1ndigenous /eoples (<C1/%"
<ational Commission on >uslim Filipinos (<C>F% to submit to the Council for the
Welfare of Children (CWC% an inventory of all children in situations of armed conflict
under their custody.
The CWC and the 0ffice of the /residential Adviser on the /eace /rocess (0/A//%
shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act" with proper
consultation from all concerned government and non:government organi2ations" and shall
submit to the /resident and to Congress of the /hilippines the annual report.
The CWC shall establish and maintain a database for the monitoring and reporting
of children in situations of armed conflict concerns integrated in its monitoring system.
?iolators face a fine of not more than /(> and life imprisonment.
/enalties are also imposed on any public officer who prevents" prohibits" refuses or
discontinues the implementation of any of provision of the proposed act.
The authors of the bill are Reps. >arcelino Teodoro (*
st
!istrict" >ari,ina City%"
Cinchona Cru2:@on2ales (/arty ;ist" C1&AC%" ;awrence ;emuel Fortun (*
st
!istrict"
Agusan !el <orte%" Ruby $ahali (;one !istrict" Tawi:Tawi%" @us Tambunting (
nd
!istrict" /araAaBue City%" ;ani >ercado:Revilla (
nd
!istrict" Cavite%" @ina !e ?enecia
('
th
!istrict" /angasinan%" /edro Acharon" =r. (*
st
!istrict" $outh Cotabato%" >ariano
/iamonte" =r. (/arty ;ist" A Teacher%" >agnolia Rosa Antonino:<adres ('
th
!istrict"
<ueva 7ci.a%" 7mmeline Aglipay (/arty ;ist" !1WA%" 7strellita $uansing (*
st
!istrict"
<ueva 7ci.a%" 1sidro 3ngab (+
rd
!istrict" !avao City%" Celso ;obregat (*
st
!istrict"
#amboanga City%" 7mil 0ng (
nd
!istrict" <orthern $amar%" ;eopoldo &ataoil (
nd
!istrict" /angasinan%" Rogelio 7spina (;one !istrict" &iliran%" Feli4 William Fuentebella
('
th
!istrict Camarines $ur%" 7lisa Cho (
nd
!istrict" >asbate%" Angelina Tan ('
th
!istrict"
Due2on%" and ;inabelle Ruth ?illarica ('
th
!istrict" &ulacan%. (+6% jc

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