The Office on Social Welfare and Development Services in Cotabato City will be focusing on intensifying its programs for the vulnerable sector of women and children this year. Because of the strengthened campaign of President Duterte, being supported by the Joint LGU-PNP Ronda in Cotabato City, the OSWD will be conducting massive information and education campaigns for the youth and their parents, as well, on the harmful effects of drug abuse. Both in school and out of school youth in the city will be educated about the nationwide campaign against illegal drugs and how they can be part of it.
City Social Welfare and Development Officer Cheribin Viloria said, this campaign must be promulgated up to the household level.
“Aside from the children, the parents are our most important partners in campaigning the ill effects of drugs that is why they will also be encouraged to join our education campaign so that they will be able to monitor further the activities of their children and make sure that they are not involved in any illegal activity”, Viloria said.
Further, the OSWDS, in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region XII and other non government organizations, will also conduct more skills training development programs this year. Unlike in the previous year wherein most of the participants to these programs are women, this time even the solo parents will also be welcome to join. Aside from developing their skills, they will also have the advantage of getting an employment referral that will support their application to different commercial establishments.
“We will try to equip them both emotionally and financially. Pwede natin silang bigyan ng oportunidad para matuto at maka-earn ng income, magiging independent na sila at hindi na pabigat sa society”, Viloria added.
During the last quarter of 2016, the OSWD has already started to reach out to the Badjao street children and conducted a feeding program for them. This program not only aimed to help them but also for the office to profile these children, trace their history, and if possible, bring them back to their places of origin. This year, the OSWDS will continue this program and target not only the Badjao children but also other beggars and loiterers.
The Social Development Center is also catering to street children and facilitating their return to their parents. But now, because of the decrease in the number of street children in the city, the SDC will be temporarily used for sheltering the children in conflict with the law or children that have committed crimes such as theft, murder, and homicide.
Moreover, the OSWDS is set to open the Women and Children Center that will serve as the temporary shelter of abused women and children in the city while their cases are being investigated.
By: JEHANN ANDAL (NDU BA-COMM)