Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista on Monday signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Acts (RA) 11222 and 11037, which promote the welfare of children.
On February 21, President Rodrigo Duterte signed RA 11222 or the “Simulated Birth Rectification Act”, which allows adoptive parents who have tampered their child’s birth record to correct the document and legally adopt the child without fear of prosecution, provided it is in the “best interest of the child”.
In her speech, Senator Grace Poe stressed that the law grants amnesty and rectifies the simulated birth of a child.
“It also fixes his status, assigns to the child legal rights, expunges criminal, civil and administrative liabilities, and provides for a less costly and faster process. I’m extremely glad that the IRR is done. Without them, the laws remain as dreams unfulfilled,” Poe said.
She added that the old law penalizes the act of love when parents resort to simulating the birth of a child.
“Ang sabi nga ng isang adoptive parent, ilang segundo lang putulin ang umbilical cord pero ang red tape na nakapulupot sa aming anak ay tila mas mahaba at mas mahirap alisin, (An adoptive parent said, the umbilical cord would be cut in a few seconds but the red tape tied around our child is long and difficult to cut),” she said.
She said better adoption and feeding program policies address the basic needs of documentation and nutrition towards a secured future for children hence their prioritization is important.
Meanwhile, RA 11037 or the “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act,” which Duterte signed in June 2018, regulates all existing government feeding programs.
Such programs allow for the provision of one fortified hot meal per day, fresh milk, and micronutrient supplementation to all beneficiaries of the DSWD’s Supplementary Feeding Program and the Department of Education’s (DepEd) school-based feeding program for 120 days a year.
“This IRR is important so that we’ll be able to make learners who are well-nourished. We can’t have learners learn to the highest level if their stomachs are empty and as we know quality education can only happen if the learners are nourished and well-rested,” DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said during his speech.
San Antonio added that the DepEd has been conducting feeding programs in schools in the past years to address the nutritional needs of stunted learners.
“But as we all know, the legislation will make all these efforts and programs permanent and sustainable. We will have healthy learners, healthy graduates of the K-12 program, who will become assets to nation-building,” he said. (PNA)