The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the leadership of Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista has assured the public in accomplishing its commitments stated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11188 or “The Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict (CSAC) and Providing Penalties for Violations.”
The recently signed IRR includes the development of a Manual on the Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict. The said law sums up the government’s policy in providing special protection to CSAC and guarantees that they have effective access to justice as well as services and programs for their rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration.
While the IRR serves as the minimum guidelines and standards for government officials and personnel of national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), and other service providers, DSWD’s timely completion of its tasks under the IRR would ensure that CSAC will be able to reap the benefits due them under the law.
Another highlight in the IRR is the mandate to DSWD to review, revise, and enhance existing guidelines for handling of CSAC cases from rescue, to rehabilitation and reintegration aside from its responsibility to develop or update a system of referrals in case a need for legal, medical, or psychological services will arise.
A government department known for humanitarian efforts, DSWD has been tasked to ensure that all Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs) across the country are trained and equipped to manage CSAC cases. Such provision is aligned with the Local Government Code (LGC) wherein DSWD is specifically tasked to capacitate its local counterparts in all aspects of social welfare and development.
DSWD along with NGAs, LGUs, child advocates, civil society organizations (CSOs), and other stakeholders vowed to fast track the implementation of the IRR, in their respective capacities, as CSAC are robbed of a better future in the absence of concrete programs and services.
Indeed, DSWD with all its programs, initiatives and humanitarian efforts led by Sec. Bautista has been living up to its name as the lead agency in social protection in our nation.