Children rights groups urge electoral candidates to address Filipino children’s needs

Children rights advocacy group urges those running for public office to look into pressing concerns affecting the children (Photo courtesy of Salinlahi)

Approximately 4 million Filipino children are out of school while a staggering 2.1 million children are employed in informal or manual work to contribute to their family’s low income.

By ALYSSA MAE CLARIN
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — A children rights group called on those running for public office to take on various issues affecting Filipino children as part of their electoral agenda.

“It is a concern for the children– because in the end, who would suffer the consequences of the actions of the current generation? Eventually, it would be our children today,” said child rights advocate Eule Rico Bongonay during the ‘Bata, Boto, Balota: The 2019 Filipino Children’s Agenda.”

During the forum, Bongonay, who is the secretary general of Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, pointed out that despite his promises, the majority of Filipino children are still living on or below the poverty line under the Duterte administration – bearing the brunt of the economic decline.

Citing a study conducted by the IBON Foundation, at least 31 percent of Filipino children live below the poverty line. Studies have also revealed that about 29,000 children under five years old die due to under-nutrition annually.

Salinlahi urged the government and those aspiring for public office to focus on these concerns, rather than conducting projects like the government’s tax reform law and its infrastructure spending, which critics consider as two of the biggest contributors to the declining economic status of many Filipino families.

On schooling, tokhang

The worsening economic conditions have resulted to Filipino children being forced out of schools and into child labor.

Approximately 4 million Filipino children are out of school while a staggering 2.1 million children are employed in informal or manual work to contribute to their family’s low income.

Kian Delos Santos. (Photo by Kathy Yamzon/Bulatlat)

Children are also victims of the President’s War on Drugs, including the 54 children reported killed under this war against drugs, one of the most known cases was the murder of 17-year old Kian Lloyd delos Santos.

Related story: #JusticeForKian | Summary killing of Grade 11 student breaks internet

What do the children want

Jhon Matthew Ocquia from Salinlahi Youth Caloocan chapter listed down some of the basic demands of the Filipino youth that candidates should answer and provide.

In his presentation, Ocquia noted the importance of providing decent housing and job security for their parents.

He said that the minimum wage is not enough for Filipino families to sustain their needs especially with the increasing prices of goods and services.

BULATLAT FILE PHOTO: Resident Mildred Bibera and her two-year-old daughter (Photo by J. Ellao / Bulatlat.com)

Hindi na nga mataas ang sahod, mataas pa ang mga bilihin.” (Wages are low and prices are high.)

“What do the children want in a candidate?” was the primary question Salinlahi proposed and the question that the event revolved around.

The answer, Filipino children want a candidate who can genuinely secure their bright future by actually working toward it, and not just by promising it. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

 

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