BAGUIO CITY – (July 1, 2021) – Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ordered concerned agencies to curb the rising cases of rape and child abuse in the city.

In the Management Committee meeting last June 29, the mayor tasked the City Social Welfare and Development headed by OCSWD Officer Betty Fangasan and Baguio City Police Office under City Director P Col. Glenn Lonogan to intensify existing programs and to implement new strategies to address the problem.

The mayor said 15 rape cases had been recorded in the city from January to May this year which is a sharp increase from last year’s five cases.

Fangasan earlier reported child abuse cases considerably hiked with 71 cases including rape incidents reported from January to June this year as against the 76 posted for the whole of 2020.  

Most of the incidents happened in the homes with family members and neighbors as perpetrators.

To address the problem, Fangasan said they will drum up the monitoring and reporting system of such incidents especially in the barangay level through the collaboration of the barangay officials and the community.

“We appeal to the public to be vigilant in spotting child abuse cases in their neighborhood and in reporting them at once to the concerned authorities so that appropriate actions can be undertaken,” she said.

OCSWDO addresses the reported cases by conducting investigations and providing interventions like legal aid and psychological or psychiatric counseling to the aggrieved parties.

She said they will strengthen the programs and advocacies of the inter-agency Baguio Council for the Protection of Children in support of Republic Act No. 7160 otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

Composed of various government and non-government organizations, the BCPC is tasked to formulate plans, programs and policies for children, provides coordinative linkages with other agencies and institutions, recommends local legislations promoting child survival, development, protection and participation rights and monitors and evaluates the implementation of such programs.

Fangasan said their information campaign and training on RA 7160 also continues among the youth organizations and other sectors. – Aileen P. Refuerzo