Pilar town registers biggest number of street children, mendicants

Pilar town registers biggest number of street children, mendicants

By Gilda V. Llames

Balanga, Bataan (8 February) — Street children and mendicants rounded up by authorities in Balanga City last year originated mostly from the municipality of Pilar.

Yanaguia M. Benesa, social worker at the Bahay Panuluyan drop-in center in Balanga revealed that out of 39 cases received at Panuluyan in 2007, a total of 13 came from Pilar; five from Balanga; four from Hermosa; three each from Orion and Pampanga; two cases each from Mariveles, Dinalupihan, Limay and Olongapo City; another two kids with unknown address and one case from Sariaya, Quezon.

Of the 39 cases brought to Panuluyan, 14 consisted of street children and mendicants; 11 were sexually abused girls; five were diagnosed as mentally challenged; four neglected children; two physically abused; another two, abandoned girls and one emotionally disturbed girl, according to Victoria S. Sinon, administrative staff of the drop-in center.

Sinon explained that the rounded up beggars are provided temporary shelter at Panuluyan after which they are returned to their respective families. In cases when their families could no longer be located, the children are brought to Munting Tahanan, another institution in Balanga, where said children could live permanently and lead normal lives.

According to Dr. Ma. Luisa G. Atienza, chairperson of Bahay Panuluyan/Oplan Kalinga, objectives of the center are:

  • To provide home life services such as food, shelter, clothing and security to individuals who are under difficult circumstance;
  • To give initial and thorough assessment or diagnosis for short term psychosocial interventions such as restoration process of client’s self-worth that has been threatened due to abuse, inevitable dysfunctions from families, inability to cope with daily needs, and other stresses in life.
  • To prepare the client on the possible reintegration to his/her family and vice versa. If reintegration is not possible, the client must understand the possibility for referral to other institution where residential care and rehabilitative services are provided.
  • To ensure through coordination with the municipal social welfare and development officers that the after care and follow up services are extended to clients who have been reintegrated to their families.

    Bahay Panuluyan, Atienza explained, is for children while Oplan Kalinga is for old mendicants.

    Directly under the supervision of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Panuluyan and Kalinga are also supported by the provincial government of Bataan, local government units and non-government organizations such as Soroptimist International and the Rotary Club of Balanga. (PIA-Bataan)

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