Barangay Catmon ensures a child-friendly curfew ordinance implementation

Written by Ma. Luisa Bautista
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Through the initiative of Barangay Catmon together with the City Social Welfare and Development Department (CSWDD) of Malabon City and the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation (HLAF), they conducted the Oplan Sagip Kabataan rescue operation last July 22.

The initiative of Barangay Catmon in this operation was to have their Barangay Council for the Protection of Children members, aside from barangay’s executive officer and barangay tanods, to have a hands-on in the rescue operation for the intervention to be more child-friendly and child-sensitive. Also, the operation was participated by the Philippine National Police-Police Community Precinct as security support.

Barangay Catmon is one of the barangays who practices the participation of their BCPC members in the intervention of the rescue operation.

The Oplan Sagip Kabataan aims to rescue minors who are still outside their houses on curfew hours - beyond ten o’clock in the evening.

In the current implementation of the city ordinance on curfew, the participation of HLAF to the operation was to observe the actual intervention process of the barangay in the rescue operation as it involves children at risk. Also, Barangay Catmon is a HLAF partner barangay as HLAF trained the barangay in the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children Training of HLAF Center for Restorative Action. 

During the first part of the operation, the participants of the rescue operation were introduced along with the objectives of the activity. The operation was participated by Barangay Kagawads, street – facilitators, PNP, volunteers and HLAF CRA Team. The team also discussed the guidelines of the operation, identification of the group and the action and response group.

With the total of 15 barangay tanods, 8 policemen and 10 volunteers, the rescue operation was along the areas of Sitio 6, Hernandez, Gulayan and Sanciangco. The three groups consist of barangay tanods, policemen, and representative from CSWDD, BCPC and HLAF. The time of operation was between 10:00 p.m., 12:00 m.n. and 2:00 a.m. The group also strategized the route of the operation.

The group created a debriefing team consisting of two representatives from CSWDD, two from HLAF, and 4 from BCPC. They hold the roles of interviewing the minor, assisting in case of medical need and calling the attention of the guardians of the rescued minor.

Within the debriefing team of the rescue operation, HLAF trained BCPC Secretary provided an orientation on the forms together with the child-sensitive way of interviewing. As the representative from CSWDD started the interview, a child was separately interviewed and a different case manager interviewed the parents/guardian. BCPC members asked for the documents supporting the identity of the guardian and the child. 

According to Barangay Kagawad Arnel Mendoza, based from the rescue operation, it is essential to change the intervention on Case A after the further assessment that the intervention is no longer effective on Case A. He also noted that an individualized approach to the child is more effective in the intervention process.

Also, Barangay Kagawad Bobet Nacion mentioned that processing on how they feel is an important factor while doing the intervention and how does it affect the child involved.

The rescue operation marked a realization to the participants of the Oplan Sagip Kabataan that there is a need of strengthening the communication and coordination of the duty bearers like the BCPC members, barangay officials, police and CSWDD.