Trust fund for neglected children okayed

November 12, 2019
Yedda Marie Romualdez

A HOUSE panel approved a measure providing neglected children with  a special trust fund when they reach legal age.

The House Committee on the Welfare of Children, chaired by Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, approved a consolidated bill allocating P50,000 annually under a special trust fund for every abandoned, neglected and voluntarily committed child under the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Under the measure, neglected children may receive proceeds from the trust fund once they leave the care of DSWD upon reaching 18 years of age.

“These efforts to create a national program and trust fund for neglected children under the care of the DSWD are truly commendable. We, in the committee, also consider the bill a priority measure as the principal author is no less than the Speaker of the House, Alan Peter Cayetano,” Romualdez said.

“These neglected children need all the support from the State even after they leave the comfort of DSWD facilities so they can reach their fullest potential as productive adults,” she added.

One of the authors, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that under the bill the DSWD is mandated to come up with a comprehensive monitoring system to address the needs of the abandoned, neglected or voluntary committed children.

Likewise, the DSWD is tasked to establish a transparent mechanism that would provide a reasonable lump sum grant to abandoned, neglected or voluntarily-committed children who turn 18 years old and are ready to lead a life of their own.

A trust fund account in a trust entity shall be opened in the name of every covered children under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to be entered into by the DSWD and the chosen trust entity.

The DWSD, through funds sourced from a regular annual appropriation item in its budget, shall deposit P12,500 quarterly in every trust fund until the account matures, unless terminated by the DSWD due to the death or ineligibility of the recipient.

In the event that the recipient child has been rendered ineligible to receive the fund, or dies prior to reaching the age of majority, the trust fund for such minor shall be forfeited in favor of the State.

The grant shall be revoked when the abandoned, neglected or voluntarily- committed child has: attempted against the life of his fellow abandoned, neglected  or voluntarily-committed children or his guardian, ascendants or descendant; abandoned the child-caring institution for a period of six months and efforts have been exhausted to locate him or her within the stated period;  found to be pushing  or using prohibited drugs, or otherwise involved in any illegal activity;  found to be living a dishonorable or disgraceful life; and convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude. 

Other House members who filed similar bills, were Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado and An Waray party-list Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel.