Social Watch urges Bicam to approve ₱9.2 billion proposed budget for child protection
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·DECEMBER 3, 2020
To ensure Filipino children are protected from a wide array of abuse and exploitation, local budget watchdog Social Watch Philippines (SWP) is proposing a total of ₱9.2 billion for child protection in key government agencies’ proposed allocations.
“We are calling the Bicam to be proactive in pushing for more responsive budgeting for child protection in the 2021 national budget, by considering our alternative budget proposals in key departments and agencies working for the rights and welfare of children.” the SWP said.
This is the call of SWP amid the on-going bicameral conference committee or the Bicam proceedings of the 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB).
Citing the 2016 survey by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and UNICEF in which three out of five Filipino children being physically and psychologically abused and bullied, and almost one in five being sexually violated, the group is pushing for a more aggressive funding for child protection.
SWP calls for a universal support allowance for persons with disabilities
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·NOVEMBER 25, 2020
To cope with their already challenging circumstance prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, persons with disabilities need disability support allowance to be rolled out progressively, local budget watchdog Social Watch Philippines (SWP) said in a statement.
“In complementation of existing measures and schemes, adopting and progressively rolling out a universal disability support allowance of 2,000 pesos a month will effectively address some of the most critical needs of this particularly vulnerable sector,” the SWP said.
According to the SWP, the proposal will provide basic income support to families of children with disabilities, and persons with disabilities who are unable to work.
“The initial rollout of disability support allowance should be for all children with disabilities and adults with disabilities with higher support needs and disability costs, and those who may face significant barriers and lack of support for employment,” the SWP said.
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.
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.
Citizens’ Monitoring of Financing for COVID-19 Response and Recovery: Focus on the AIIB Loan
The Citizens’ Monitoring of Financing for COVID-19 Response and Recovery: Focus on the AIIB Loan is a project under Social Watch Philippines.
Combining research, advocacy, and communications work, the project seeks to generate meaningful citizens’ participation in monitoring the program outcomes and policy impacts of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) COVID-19 Loan.
Worth US$750 million, the loan was signed in June 2020 and forms part of the financing generated by the government of the Philippines to fund the COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program.
To know more about the project and the progress of the monitoring of the AIIB loan, you may visit http://covidloantracker.wordpress.com,
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
Alternative Budget Initiative
Reclaiming the People’s Purse
Public funds came from the people and should therefore be utilized primarily to ensure better quality of life for the people. But dowe hear actual voices of slum dwellers, indigenous people, farmers, fishers and persons with disabilities when the local and national budgets are being formulated and planned? Peoples’ money should improve people’s lives. Government invested billions of public funds to end poverty; but global and national economic growth left 1.9 billion people poorer and hungrier and with less opportunity for shelter, healthcare and education.
People's Public Finance Institute (PPFI)
SWP spearheads the ceation of People's Public Finance Institute, a learning center for both state and non-state actors towards making public fiance a major concern of every citizen; not just of a very small group of experts. The institute set-ups local learning hubs based in unversities and operated by pool of cadres from the academe committed to share expertise and engage the public finance processes.
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.