by Filane Mikee Cervantes
MANILA — A measure seeking to provide a special trust fund amounting to PHP2,500 for each orphaned, abandoned, neglected or voluntarily-committed children has been filed at the Senate.
According to a statement on Thursday, Senator Bong Revilla filed Senate Bill 1021, which seeks a national program to support and care for these children by creating a special trust fund.
Revilla noted that the proposed law aims to aid 1.8 million orphan and abandoned children in the country, between ages 5 and 14, who might already be engaged in child labor and struggle to survive on roughly PHP65 a day or less.
“It cannot be denied that there is still a considerable number of orphaned, abandoned, neglected or voluntarily-committed children in the country,” Revilla said in his explanatory note.
“These children need the same care and protection, maybe even more, from their environment especially because of their status,” he added.
The bill covers all abandoned, neglected or voluntarily-committed children, under the case of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or DSWD-accredited child-caring institutions.
A trust fund account in any commercial bank or several commercial banks shall be opened in the name of potential beneficiaries under a memorandum of agreement to be entered into by a commercial bank and the DSWD.
The DSWD, sourcing it from a regular annual appropriation item in its budget, shall deposit the sum of PHP2,500 quarterly in every trust fund account until the account matures, unless terminated earlier by the DSWD due to the death or ineligibility of the recipient.
To maintain the real purchasing value of the said amount through the years, it shall be increased by the DSWD every three years in proportion to the average inflation rate for the said period as certified by the National Economic Development Authority.
The DSWD shall also be mandated to come up with a comprehensive monitoring system to address the needs of these children. (PNA)