DSWD-7 denies SOS allegation re birthday cake for IP child
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7) denied the allegation of the Save Our Schools (SOS) Network that the agency barred an Indigenous People (IP) child to receive a birthday cake on March 28, 2021.
In a press statement, the agency said that the child being referred to was among the minors rescued by the Cebu City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) in February.
The child is currently under the custody of the agency’s Center for Women and Children facility, together with four other IP children.
On March 28, the SOS team went to the center to give a birthday cake to the IP child who was allegedly celebrating her birthday.
But based on their birth certificates and a certification from the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), none of the five IP children is celebrating her or his birthday on the said date.
The agency added that based on their policy, the center only accepts visitors to the center every Friday. Aside from this, only the parents, immediate family members, and members of the case management team are allowed to visit the children at the center.
DSWD-7 also emphasized that due to the pandemic, brought by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), they have limited the number of visitors to the center.
Visitors are also mandated to observe the health and safety protocols, such as the wearing of a face mask and face shield, practicing social distancing, and washing and sanitizing of hands at all times. /rcg
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