ILOILO City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 6 seeks to establish a facility for female children in conflict with the law (CICL).
CICL are children who are alleged as, accused of, or adjudged as having committed criminal offenses under Philippine laws.
At present, according to Assistant Regional Director for Operations Delia Bagolcol, DSWD’s facility for CICL – the Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras – caters only to boys.
Female CICL have “separate issues” needing a different kind of intervention, thus having a separate facility for them is ideal, said Bagolcol.
“Hopefully sa future budget mapasulod inang program for female CICL. Indi healthy nga may CICL girls didto sa home for boys. Kay lain ‘ya ang ila issues, lain man ang ila nga intervention,” Bagolcol explained.
What DSWD currently has for girls and young women who are distressed (abused or with special needs that could not be adequately met by their own families and relatives over a period of time) is a halfway house in Cabatuan, Iloilo. It is a temporarily alternative residential facility providing 24-hour care for females below 18 years old.
From January to Sept. 18, the Cabatuan facility served a total of 18 clients. Of the 18, 12 were sexually abused (eight, rape; 14, victims of incest). The others were abandoned, neglected or victims of human trafficking.
DSWD also operates the Regional Center for Women (RCW) in New Lucena, Iloilo – a residential center for abused women (those of legal age) and their children established in cooperation with the Congressional Spouses Foundation.
Clients include victims of rape, incest, involuntary prostitution, illegal recruitment, domestic violence, and abandonment.
So far this year, RCW has served a total of 29 clients (seven, victims of physical abuse and maltreatment; three, rape; one, emotional abuse; one, strandee / person with disability; and 17, dependents).
Though there is no actual statistics as to the number of female CICLs in the region, Bagolcol said, “Kon lantawon mo subong daw gaamat-amat sila equal sa boys. Pero waay kita exact statistics.”/PN