Let’s help foundlings

August 05, 2020

A PROPOSED piece of legislation that seeks to promote and protect the rights of abandoned children with unknown parents is awaiting consideration in the House of Representatives.

The House committee on the welfare of children, chaired by Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, has approved House Bill (HB) No. 3472, otherwise known as the “Foundling Welfare Act.”

She said the bill, which was approved upon the motion of Gabriela Women’s party-list Rep. Arlene Brozas, also seeks to declare these abandoned children as natural-born Filipino citizens.

Romualdez, wife of House Majority Leader Martin G. Romualdez, vowed to work for the swift passage of the proposed measure that is principally authored by Ang Probinsyano party-list Rep. Ronnie Ong.

A registered nurse and a former beauty queen, the soft-spoken and workaholic committee chair aired the vow during last Monday’s virtual committee hearing via Zoom.

“We will do our best to approve this bill immediately in the House of Representatives. We are committed to promote and protect the rights of abandoned children,” added Romualdez.

The committee also set up a technical working group that would consolidate the more than a dozen bills to establish an “Alternative Child Care Code” and simplify the process of adopting abandoned and neglected children.

In filing HB No. 3472, Ong said that on top of physical, emotional and psychological disadvantages, there are a lot of legal disadvantages for a foundling or someone abandoned with unknown facts of birth and parentage.

Worse, he said, we have closed the door for them to enjoy their rights as Filipinos – hindi makapag-aral, hindi makakuha ng trabaho, hindi puedeng ikasal, at hindi makakuha ng passport at driver’s license.

If indeed they have the heart and the mind for the rights of abandoned children with unknown parents, then the House of Representatives ought to pass quickly the proposed “Foundling Welfare Act.”