The National Authority for Child Care (NACC), an attached agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), has reported several cases of disruptive behavior from children who were adopted through the orphanage operated by the Gentle Hands Inc. (GHI).
NACC Executive Director Undersecretary Janella Ejercito Estrada revealed this on Tuesday (May 23) during a press conference presided by DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian.
The NACC executive director told members of the media there were at least three disruption cases of children from GHI orphanage which the attached agency directly handled.
“On the part of NACC, we have received three disruption cases. Hindi ko po pwedeng i-disclose yung mga pangalan ng mga bata dahil po para sa proteksyon po nila. So, I will just mention child A, child B, and child C,” Undersecretary Estrada said.
“For child A, actually this child is very disturbed. I personally experienced that because this child went to our office in NACC at naikwento po ng kanyang mga adoptive parents kung ano po ang ginawa ng bata na ito. Kinulong po nya ang kanyang adoptive dad sa loob ng banyo for like one to two hours. At kwento naman po ng kanyang adoptive mom ay binigyan nya daw po ito ng pagkain at tinapon daw po ng bata at tinapak-tapakan,” the NACC chief narrated.
“Then si child B isa pa rin po itong disturbed na bata, hindi po kasi ito prepared. Actually lahat po ng disrupted cases naming ay hindi prepared yung mga bata na umalis ng bansa. Ito pong child B namin ay nanghabol po ng saksak sa kanya pong mga magulang, not once but five times,” Undersecretary Estrada pointed out.
The NACC undersecretary deplored that Child B, who is currently admitted in a mental institution in the United States, will be transported back to the Philippines this week through the intervention of NACC, with assistance from the Department of Health (DOH) to immediately assess the mental health of the child.
“Then child C naman, ito po talaga ay hindi ko pwedeng i-disclose dahil it is under investigation. Pero malaki po yung impact nito sa atin dahil yong case po nito ay marami pong involved na mga agency, hindi lang po dito sa Pilipinas. Actually yung adoptive parent po ng ating child C ay nagreklamo na sa US State Department at sa Hague Convention,” Undersecretary Estrada explained.
According to the NACC chief, the disruption cases of children from GHI are due to “poor preparation of the children — mentally, physically and emotionally.”
Following this incident, Secretary Gatchalian said the DSWD is currently retooling its programs and services, including the centers and residential care facilities (CRCFs) and Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) that have big roles in the preparation of children for adoption, in order to prevent disruption cases.
“Usec Janella is pointing out that there seems to be a pattern of disruptive behavior for children who are being placed for adoption from this facility… We will look at the overall licensing issues of Gentle Hands and not just Gentle Hands,” the DSWD chief said.
Secretary Gatchalian explained further: “Ang punto ko lang is that the Department will always thrive to put the best interest of the child on top of its agenda. That will include looking at the physical plan, retooling kung kailangan yung mga care facilities natin para nga to look into the disruptive behavior later on (retooling the care facilities if needed so we can look into the disruptive behavior later on). So all of these are being looked into as we do our general program review for everything.”
Secretary Gatchalian said the DSWD continues to improve its systems and processes as well as it’s attached and supervised agencies, to ensure the provision of quality services to its clientele.