Sec. Taguiwalo reminds media to be more cautious on reporting incidents involving minors

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo reminds members of the press, in the local, regional and national media, to be more sensitive when interviewing or publishing any type of news article involving minors. She said that the objective of reporting such incidents to help the public become aware of the necessity to be vigilant when it comes to protecting minors.

"We fully support the media as our partners in promoting development and safeguarding the rights of the people, including children who experienced abuse or any form of exploitation. However, we remind members of the press to be more responsible and to respect children's rights to privacy, especially in situations that may aggravate their emotional vulnerability," said Sec. Taguiwalo.

Her pronouncements came after receiving a case report from the DSWD-Field Office I that a 15-year-old girl who was raped by her father in Ilocos Norte felt shame/stigma from her fellow students after she was interviewed by the media. The press was already asked not to write or publish anything about the incident to prevent any further psychological trauma to the victim who is a minor and is protected under statutes on children's rights.

Based on the initial report provided by the regional Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) Edita Salud to the DSWD FO-I, the minor and her elder sister were given counselling since they are both victims of incestuous rape.

Currently, they are both under the custody of their aunt and a case has already been filed against their father.

Meanwhile, a minor in a municipality in La Union is now under the custody of the police after being involved in an illegal drug activity.

According to the DSWD FO-I, the MSWDO in the said municipality have already conducted initial counselling with the minor and his family. They are now closely coordinating with the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) for the possible rehabilitation of the child in the Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth.

Sec. Taguiwalo assured the family of the minors that they will continue their coordination with law enforcers and their concerned social welfare offices to pursue the best interest of the children.

Source: Philippine Information Agency