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CRC ANNUAL REPORT 2014

INTRODUCTION

 

The Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC) was established in June 1985, to help children of political prisoners under the martial law era cope with the trauma of the sudden separation and other psychological and emotional problems resulting from their parents’ detention. From a small play group of children in Quezon City, CRC’s clientele expanded to include all other children – Christian, Muslim and from indigenous tribes - who are directly and indirectly affected by armed conflict in critical regions nationwide.

 

Since its establishment, CRC has developed both center-based and community-based psycho-social help programs including programs for children in detention centers, and specific modules for psycho-social first-aid intervention to children in armed conflict areas. It also provides support services (educational, nutritional and medical), particularly for children whose parents are killed, missing or are incapacitated to fulfill their roles as breadwinners and providers of parental guidance and security through the Orphan Support Program. CRC has centers and outreach programs in Southern Mindanao, Iloilo, Negros and Bicol provinces to reach out to a larger number of victims nationwide.

 

CRC also provides trainings for grassroots women and people’s organizations that focus in data-gathering and facilitation of psychosocial activities for children. It also maintains a data-bank at the National Office to consolidate and generate data and analysis on children victims of human rights violations from various parts of the country. The data is used in advocacy and campaign activities primarily to highlight the plight of children and secondarily to generate resources for them.

 

2014 in review

 

In the past few years, the Aquino government has created a gigantic illusion of political stability and economic progress. Through its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and overwhelming survey results, the president remarked the victory of daang matuwid in the battle against poverty. He even concluded that the Philippine has been considered as the rising tiger in Asia as a result of the government’s political reforms and economic initiatives. He further assured that these developments have a trickling down effect to the poor majority.

 

However, in 2014, the socio-economic realities continued to belie these claims. Under the Aquino government, the majority of the Filipino people continue to live in poverty, hunger, deprivation and violations of human rights. The severe inequalities, unemployment, landlessness of peasants and the well-entrenched corruptions in the government have further exposed the economy’s distortions and deep structural problems.

 

The continued adherence of the government to the neo-liberal dictates of liberalization, privatization, deregulation and denationalization, through its profit-oriented Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program, have only resulted to increased public debt and less government responsibility. Under the PPP, the government continues to sell out its services such as health and education. It includes the 26 government hospital (i.e. Orthopedic, PCMC, etc.) and infrastructure projects on educational facilities. On the other hand, the government boosted public debt in order to finance government spending under PPP.

 

In the urban poor communities, children and their families were displaced through brute force of government policemen in order to give way for the development projects and private business ventures. Last January, houses of the thousands of families in North Triangle, Quezon City have been demolished by the combined elements of PNP and SWAT. Due to violent demolition and using of teargas, numerous people were hurt, including children. Two minors were also arrested and detained by the police.

 

On the other hand, vast lands of the peasants and indigenous people are being grabbed by local and foreign businesses (i.e. mining, dams, plantations, etc)

 

Also in 2014, Aquino was accused by many Filipino people, especially the Typhoon Yolanda victims, of criminal negligence as the natural hazard resulted in an unnecessarily huge disaster. Due to government unpreparedness and ill-response, more than ten thousand individuals died. On the other hand, the government, particularly the Department of Social Welfare and Development, was criticized for alleged hoarding of donations for the typhoon victims and maliciously using it for further political patronage. The victims even presented to the media the spoiled food packages being distributed while other imported goods-in-can were replaced by local brand sardines. The government was also put into shame for its refusal to grant the victims’ legitimate demands including the P40, 000.00 financial assistance and the lifting of no build zone policy. The victims also exposed that the government is using the opportunity to implement more projects under PPP by selling out the resources of Visayas to private investors including Sy, Ayala and Pangilinan.

 

The government has also confronted with corruption issues despite the supposed anti-corruption measures of the daang matuwid. Even President BS Aquino failed to escape from people’s outrage over the billions of fund allocated under his presidential pork or the so-called Development Acceleration Program (DAP), which was later declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

 

All these socio-economic crises have only resulted to further deprivation and exploitation of the majority of the Filipino people. Even the dole-out programs Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of the government that purportedly aimed at alleviating poverty has failed to resolve its root causes. In addition, grassroots movements are being subjected to sustained repressions and violations of human rights, children are not even spared. Grave violations monitored last year include extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and illegal arrests and detentions, among others.

 

Under Aquino government, Children’ Rehabilitation Center (CRC) has documented 20 cases of killings, 29 frustrated killings, torture, 8 rape, 23 illegal arrest and detention and thousands children victims of forcible evacuation- all these violations were perpetrated by state forces.