BAGUIO CITY – The increasing number of family concerns in the city were heard during the Kapihan sa Baguio last Wednesday, September 20, with a goal to promote family enrichment by providing holistic programs and activities through the month-long celebration of the 31st National Filipino Family Week with the theme “Pamilyang Pilipino: Pagtugon sa Nagbabagong Pananaw at Panahon.”
In a report given by the Acting City Social Welfare & Development Officer, Cythia Langagan, family women and children are the most challenged with regards to family enrichment concerns. In a family related statistics this year, 93.59% of solo parents are female, and most of them never married and are below the poverty line. Although, data on Women abuse decreased from 461 to 133, the amount of child abuse doubled from 45 to 96 cases. According to Langagan, “For the 96 reports ng child abuse natin for this semester, majority is sexual abuse.” With this ferocity, she also mentioned that boys are not excused to abuse, including sexual abuse.
Uplife Vice Chairman Dr. Felicisimo Vestidas, also mentioned sexual abuses now are incest. This inclination started in 2020 when the partner Child Family Services of City Social Welfare & Development had parallel increasing data on their number of cases. The lockdown during the pandemic was one crucial factor behind these behaviors.
The city also provides programs for couples and families to enrich their relationship with their spouse or child including young mother orientation, cash incentives, solo parent forum, child legitimization services, family bridging for people derived from liberty, and recreational activities to recognize the roots of identity.
Furthermore, Dr. Vestidas clarified that these programs are not that beneficial since the problem is already within the family, “Hindi po sapat na magkaroon lang tayo ng program about family, kasi nga po sabi ko kung ang family members are not skillful enough in handling family, parenting in particular they will break eventually” insisting how crucial education is in solving these issues.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda of Committee on Health also told her reservations about cash incentives for solo parents and young mothers, “Siguro we should look at ayuda not as an incentive but as assistance for them to go back to what they used to. Ayuda should not be a reason to cause teenage pregnancy and at the same time remain as solo parents, she emphasized.
The conference ended with an encouragement to the families in strengthening their family relationship despite the number of struggles mentioned. By Jean and Adrian Mas