DSWD: Report street children for rescue via Twitter handle @savestreetkids

A November 22, 2012 press release from the Department of Social Welfare and Development

Secretary of Social Welfare and Development Dinky Soliman encouraged the public to help report sightings of street children in Metro Manila through the DSWD Twitter account for rescue of street children: @savestreetkids (https://twitter.com/savestreetkids).

“Through this Twitter account, the public may now report sightings of street children by tweeting to us where they exactly saw these children. They can use the format: savestreetkids at / exact name of street / nearest landmark/ Metro Manila City/time of sighting. Updates will be posted within eight hours in our twitter account on whether the street children have been rescued. They will then be brought to reception action centers of local government units and to DSWD managed-centers to determine where they came from and to be provided with appropriate services and interventions,” Secretary Soliman said.

“We are closely coordinating with LGUs and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) to monitor streets where there is high concentration of street children. The children will be invited to the barangays especially this Christmas season. Activities will be held at the barangay level to keep the children off the streets,” the Secretary added.

The streets where there is high concentration of street children are: Roxas Boulevard in Manila; Kalayaan Road, Barangay E. Rodriguez, and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City; Balintawak area in Caloocan City; Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City; Greenhills, Ortigas in San Juan City; Kapasigan in Pasig City; Madrigal Avenue, Alabang in Muntinlupa City; and along NAIA Road in Parañaque City. Based on a rapid appraisal conducted by the DSWD, more than 4,000 street children were identified in these areas.

Secretary Soliman also said that the DSWD is implementing the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) program that benefits homeless street families. She said the program is being pilot tested in Metro Manila, but will soon be implemented nationwide.

One of the activities under the MCCT is a series of family camps for the 900 street family beneficiaries wherein they will participate in productive activities, such as games and skills-enhancement and family-development sessions.

The MCCT extends cash and housing assistance to homeless street families provided that they comply with the conditions of the program.

The conditions that they should comply with are: parents should ensure that their children do not stay or work on the streets; parents/guardians should participate/attend the Family Life Education and Counseling, and Family Development sessions conducted in their locale; children should be attending any mode of learning, either regular school, Alternative Learning System (ALS), School on Wheels or Supervised Neighborhood Play; parents/guardians should bring their children to health centers for immunizations, weight and height monitoring and preventive check-ups; and household beneficiaries must stay in alternative residences after identification, relocation and/or provision of shelter assistance for them.