In a bid to keep children from caroling and begging in the streets as Christmas draws closer, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has offered P50,000 to any barangay (village) that succeed in this task.
DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman made the offer, citing dangers posed by street caroling and begging to children’s health and safety.
“They (local governments) can use the amount for the implementation of children-related services,” she said in an article posted Saturday on the DSWD website.
Soliman also appealed anew to the public to refrain from giving money to street carolers.
Instead, she said people who want to share could give to the DSWD the gifts, which will be part of the goods to be distributed to children during the scheduled caroling performances and the grand Christmas party organized by the department.
Those who want to play Santa Claus or do other goodwill Christmas efforts may contact Myla Loza of the DSWD-NCR office through telephone number 488-2761 or mobile number 09185029491.
Earlier, the DSWD bared plans for the “Paskong Ligtas sa Batang Kalye: Kapwa Natin Palayain sa Panlilimos Ngayong Pasko (Safe Christmas for Street Children)” project.
The DSWD said the project was to be launched Saturday in Quezon City.
Soliman said the project aims to prevent children from caroling and begging along major thoroughfares and roads by offering alternative activities for them.
The activities will done in December in areas in Metro Manila with large concentration of street children or street dwellers.
“Street caroling is dangerous to the health and safety of children, but even if street caroling will be prohibited we will not spoil the spirit of holiday season for our disadvantaged children by giving them gifts the safe way,” Soliman said.
Activities under the project include arranging caroling performances of street children in various venues from December 10 to 18 and a grand Christmas Party on December 19, where there will be gift-giving, distribution of Noche Buena food packs, and setting-up of food booths.
Other services include a “soup kitchen” during the nine-day Dawn Masses or “Simbang Gabi,” arts and crafts, storytelling, book parade, performing arts, team sports, and youth leadership workshop and reflection sessions.
One of the DSWD’s partners, the YesPinoy Foundation chaired by actor Jose Sixto Raphael Gonzalez Dantes III (a.k.a. Dingdong Dantes), assured there will be volunteers to assist in the several activities of the project.
YesPinoy would also provide vitamins and other goods for street children.
According to the DSWD, the Christmas project is an opening activity for the Comprehensive Program for Street Families and Children.
The program aims to extend social protection services for immediate relief and provide poverty reduction projects for sustainable solutions.
It said the Comprehensive Program for Street Families is a long term solution to address the needs of home-based street families and homeless street families.
For home-based street families the DSWD will develop income-generating opportunities to prevent them from selling on the streets and to provide literacy and formative activities for their children to keep them out of the streets.
For homeless street families, the DSWD will strengthen the implementation of the Balik-Probinsiya Program which assists interested individuals to go back to their provinces or places of origin to start life anew.
Likewise, the DSWD will provide in-city and near city shelter assistance and access to income-generating activities. — LBG, GMANews.TV
Calling on all the barangays in Muntinlupa, Paranaque and Las Pinas!
As if they need rewards to keep the children off the streets.