IN observance of the 26th National Children’s Month, the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) will conduct a ‘Children’s Parade Against Child Prostitution’ today, at the said agency’s compound, aimed at drumming up support for the protection of children against all forms of abuses and sexual exploitation.
NPDC Executive Director Penelope Belmonte said that also in line with the occasion, a forum on anti-child pornography law will likewise be held, under the supervision of NPDC-Gender and Development Chief Sheila Ferrer.
The twin activities will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the GAD office inside NPDC compound’s open air auditorium and joining them are at least 700 children from park stakeholders, students from Araullo High School, Manila High School and the Manila Science High School and the employees from the NPDC.
Also expected to participate are members of the Gawad Kalinga, streetchildren from Rizal Park vicinity and representatives from various women’s group among them Gabriela, as well as victims of sexual abuse from the provinces.
Belmonte said the NPDC not only promotes Rizal Park as a tourist destination but also as a park that is totally-free from any form of violence against women and children.
Noting how ‘sex tourism’ and child prostitution still exists and how children still fall victim to sexual abuses, Belmonte stressed the need to drum up support for the increased protection of children against sex predators.
“First of all, we need to create awareness on the part of the children so that they will not fall victims to abuses and also on the part of the parents who are expected to protect their children against falling victims to abuses and exploitation,” she said.
Belmonte lamented that there are some parents or guardians who themselves subject their children or wards to sexual abuses and exploitation in exchange for financial gains.
“Our activities are also aimed at discouraging this kind of illicit activity and making the public fully aware that using the innocent children for such purposes is punishable by law,” she said.