Cebu News

Parents warned

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Following the recent alarming issue of rampant selling of babies on a social media site, the National Authority for Child Care (NACC) has stressed on their call to biological parents who have no choice but to give up their children to go through the legal process.

Conception Solera, officer-in-charge of Regional Alternative Child Care Office (RACCO)-7 under the NACC, stressed this amid recent cases wherein babies are reportedly sold on Facebook amounting to P3,000 to P10,000 and above.

Solera reminded parents that selling babies is considered human trafficking and violates Republic Act 11642 or the Domestic Adoption and Child Care Act.

"Very alarming po talaga siya kasi kung makikita natin sa FB page na parang tumataas yung bentahan dun sa FB page ng mga bata and marami siyang batas na nilabag like the RA 11642 and even the trafficking, kaya po minomonitor po talaga siya sa NACC ngayon,  said Solera.

NACC is an attached agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

NACC executive director and Undersecretary Janella Estrada recently sat down with the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), Cybercrime Investigation Coordinating Center (CICC), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) through the Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) to address the increasing Facebook groups and pages that are allegedly engaged in illegal adoption.

As of this writing, RACCO-7, in cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-7, is extensively monitoring five Facebook pages operating in Central Visayas.

On the other hand, no one behind these pages have been caught or arrested and are still currently being investigated.

NACC emphasized on the proper legal adoption process during the Adoption and Alternative Child Care Week, which is celebrated every 2nd week of June. The office stressed on their goal to provide an easier and more affordable process for legal adoption.

"With the passage of the new law the Republic Act 11642, the Inter-Country Adoption Board ay ni re-ogranize at na recreate ang National Authority For Childcare (NACC) which is ang mandate po talaga niya ay mapabilis at mapamura yung adoption natin---domestic administrative adoption," said Mhike Palanca, a RACCO social Worker.

Before the passage of the new law granting domestic adoption, court proceedings for adoption could last from three to seven years, which was also costly due to the hiring of lawyers and other expenses.

The existence of NACC has made the process more convenient as the issuance and approval for adoption will only be granted by the NACC executive director.

"The executive director will approve and issue the order of adoption and six to nine months lang yung turn around period ng domestic administrative adoption," Palanca said.

Palanca added that since the transfer of the adoption process from DSWD to NACC, they have been able to issue 634 certifications declaring a child legally available for adoption, which 68 certifications are for Central Visayas, while more than 300 certifications have been issued with orders of adoption.

There are several forms of adoption, Palanca explained, including regular adoption meaning the children were matched through adoptive parents; as well as step parent adoption; relative adoption; adult adoption; and foster adoption.

Palanca said poverty is still considered as the top reason behind the increasing cases of child abandonment.

"So adoption and foster care is not a solution, but a safety net kumbaga merong option si biological parent na kapag hindi na kaya alagaan ang kanilang anak nila, merong adoption and foster care na option na pwedeng sumalo na para ang kinabukasan ng mga batang ito ay hindi ma-compromise," he explained.

But Palanca said they are facing a current setback in the implementation of the foster care program in the Philippines.

He said the number one problem is soliciting, specifically the solicitation of support from the local government units (LGU) as they are the frontliners and first responders in foster care.

"We know of how important the role of our LGUs is in the implementation of foster care program being the frontliners, being the first responders in foster cares. Ang atong mga barangay, sila ang nakakaalam, ang nakakakita kung sino ang mga bata na pinaka nangangailangan ng aruga ng isang pamilya," she said. —/ATO (FREEMAN)

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