SWP nudges Congress to pass bill raising the age for statutory rape
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·OCTOBER 19, 2020
In observance of the International Day of the Girl Child, the Social Watch Philippines (SWP) is urging Congress to hasten the passage of the bill raising the age for statutory rape to 16, which was initially approved in August 27 by the House Committees on Revision of Laws and Welfare of Children.
“While it will not completely address the challenges in protecting the children from a myriad of abuses such as online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC), amending the anti-rape law is a good start, as those belonging to age 13-15 are still vulnerable and need protection,” the SWP said.
Under the 1997 Anti-Rape Law, a sexual intercourse is considered statutory rape if the victim is under 12 years old which is lowest in Southeast Asia. It criminalizes sex with minors under age 18 but only if there is no consent or if the act involves force or intimidation.
The SWP notes that the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act or Republic Act 7610 defines children as “persons below eighteen (18) years of age or those over but are unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition”.
SWP urges Congress to pass DepEd’s 2021 supplemental budget for child protection
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·OCTOBER 12, 2020
Alarmed with a sudden surge in the online sexual exploitation of children during the enhanced quarantine, the Social Watch Philippines (SWP) is urging Congress to approve the 2021 Tier 2 budget for the Child Protection Program of the Department of Education (DepEd).
Reports of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) in the country during the COVID-19 quarantine from March 1 to May 24, 2020 climbed to 279,166 cases as recorded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The number of cases represents a spike of 260 percent of OSAEC compared with only 76,561 cases in the same period in 2019.
“The DepEd proposed Php165 million to bolster the child protection program next year, but only Php4.58 million was approved in the 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP). This represents an increase of merely Php81,000 from the 2020 budget, and a budget cut of almost a half from its 2019 budget levels,” the SWP said.
Group welcomes Congress’ willingness to engage CSOs in budget deliberations
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·SEPTEMBER 4, 2020
Public budget watchdog Social Watch Philippines (SWP) thanks House of Representatives of the Philippines Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano for his pronouncement to allow the active participation of people’s or civil society organizations (CSOs) in the deliberations of the national budget. They hope that the same can be done in the Senate of the Philippines.
“CSOs can actually provide expertise and unique perspective in formulating people-centered budgeting for the lawmakers,” the group said in a statement.
A network of more than a hundred CSOs organized in early 1997 to monitor the implementation of government commitments to social development, the SWP has long been on the forefront of calling for transparency, accountability, and people’s participation in the national budget process.
The group convened the Alternative Budget Initiative (ABI) network in 2006, jointly conceptualized with leaders of the opposition in the House of Representatives, in which then-Congressman Alan Peter S. Cayetano was a member of the House Minority.
DOH wants to institutionalize smoke free campaign
SOCIALWATCH PHILS, Thursay, August 6, 2020
The Department of Health (Philippines) (DOH) has expressed full support to (SWP) Social Watch Philippines’ Smoke Free is the New Normal campaign.
Dr. Beverly Lorraine C. Ho, DOH OIC Director for Health Promotion Bureau said that problems triggered by Covid19 is an opportunity to enact and enforce better laws and policies and more proactive campaign for better health, saying that “different government officials are of the same attitude,” right now.
During a webinar organized and hosted by SWP early this weeky, Ho said that there are several facts about Covid19 that are already known, citing older people and those with underlying health conditions more vulnerable to the respiratory disease as one.
DepEd to parents and adults: counsel children to veer away from smoking
SOCIALWATCH PHIL·Friday, July 31, 2020
While there are plenty of other vices which can lure young people, cigarette smoking threatens families’ health and smoking can be easily picked up by succeeding generation, the Department of Education (DepEd) said in a statement.
Addressing a webinar on the dangers of tobacco smoking among the youth organized by the Social Watch Philippines (SWP) recently, DepEd Secretary Leonor M. Briones said that the public needs to know that risk of cigarette smoking to learners remains.
SOCIAL WATCH PHILIPPINES POSITION PAPER
A Proposal to Simplify and Fast-Track the Social Amelioration Program and Other Social Protection Measures
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·MONDAY, APRIL 6, 2020
We are a network of civil society and community-based organizations that has consistently advocated for people-centered sustainable development.
We acknowledge and appreciate the hard work of the government, civic groups and other stakeholders, especially the front-liners, who are doing their best to serve our people in spite of the physical and mental dangers posed by the #COVID19PH crisis, and the constraints on various fronts.
We note the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on grassroots communities. There is a pressing need to equalize life’s opportunities and conditions for all, not as an act of charity but as matter of rights and entitlement. We are concerned about the growing lack of food and other essential needs among the most vulnerable – especially the informally employed who comprise over 80 percent of Filipino workers - who now have lost their sources of incomes due to the pandemic and enhanced quarantine. The delayed delivery of public assistance is raising the level of frustration among the impoverished communities.
Social Watch has made its statement on how the Philippines could end poverty and achieve sustainable development through its Spotlight Report three years ago. The report wanted to change everything—from a proposed vision of prosperity without growth, to changing the strategy and indicators.
Many good things are happening within society as a whole. But there is really need to engage government more not only to make a “whole government approach” but a “whole of society approach” to work towards bringing us closer to our dream of fairness in a fragile world.
Towards Coherent Policies for Sustainable Development
Social Watch Philippines together with the members of the Alternative Budget Initiative (ABI) are pleased to invite you to the “Budget Serye! A Discussion on the 2021 Budget” an online discussion series on October 26, 27, and 28, 2020. The Budget Serye will feature the alternative budget proposals on education, social protection, and health, respectively. The proposals will also highlight the needs of the marginalized sectors like persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and children.
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) turn over 200,000 signatures to Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito in support of the passage of the Universal Health Care bill and Tobacco Tax Increase bill on Thursday, September 20 during a Manila Youth Leader’s Assembly held at Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta Mesa.