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BACKGROUND

Legal Basis. The Council for the Welfare of Children was created by virtue of Presidential Decree 603 or the Child and Youth Welfare Code. The Decree codifies laws on rights and responsibilities of children below twenty-one ( now below 18 years with the enactment of RA 6809 which lowers the age of majority from 21 to 18 years). The same Decree includes the rights and responsibilities of parents as well as substantive and procedural provisions on children with respect to the Home, Church, Community, Samahan, Education and the State. Moreover, special categories of children such as the dependent, neglected and abandoned, the physically and mentally disabled, and youth offenders below 21 years ( now below 18 ) are protected by the State under the doctrine of parens patriae.

The Decree was signed by His Excellency, President Ferdinand E. Marcos, on 10 December 1974 and became effective on 10 June 1975. On 13 August 1975, the Chairman and Members of the Council took their oaths of office before the President. Per information from one of the pioneers of the Council, then Bureau of Family and Child Welfare Director Flora C. Eufemio was concurrent executive director of the Council before Atty. Ester de Jesus-Amor was appointed as Executive Director.

The first regular meeting of the Council for the Welfare of Children took place on 8 September 1975. At this meeting, the Council approved its organizational structure, established the Inter-Agency Committee for Program Development and Implementation (INTERACT) and designated members thereof, and approved the nomination and appointment of the Executive Director of the Council. ( p.63 PD 603 as amended ).

The Child and Youth Welfare Code covers persons below twenty-one years old where child, youth and /minoris considered one and the same person. Youth, however, was then defined as persons below twenty-four years old which was the main clientele group of MSSD's Bureau of Youth in 1972. The Bureau formulated the Integrated Human Resource Development Program for the Youth ( IHRDPY ) in 1975. The IHRDPY shifted the focus of youth program to preventive and developmental services while maintaining the rehabilitative and curative aspects.

In the review of the different services of the Ministry of Social Services ( MSSD) to the Disadvantaged ( 1973-1982 ) by Altuna, Filipinas et aI, one can appreciate the backdrop by which the different interventions and programs have been developed. Up until 1974, the records indicate that national efforts were largely focused on economic development. It was in 1974- 1977 when social concerns began to be emphasized. The programs were not only to provide material assistance to disadvantaged groups but also to enable them to become active and useful members of society. The goal orientation of the subsequent national plan covering 1978-1982 stresses on human welfare through the promotion of social development and social justice by creating employment opportunities, reducing income disparities, improving living standards of the poor and enriching social and cultural values. Other goals covered food availability, sustained economic growth, improvement of lagging regions especially the rural areas, proper management of the environment, internal security and harmonious international relations.

The 107 years old Department of Health (as of 2005) had a list of milestone programs for Mothers and Children through the Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition and Family Planning Programs and Projects. Source of said information is the Malaya at Malusog na Pamayanan, Department of Health Centennial Program (1898-1998). Specifically, the Maternal Care Program now Safe Motherhood and Perinatal Care started in 1948; the MCH-Nutrition Project and Creation ofInstitute of Nutrition both started in 1948; and the Family Planning Programs and Projects which began in 1957 with the First Family Relations Center established by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), other religious groups followed until the Marcos Administration made family planning an official policy and established the Commission on Population (POPCOM) in 1970 , passed the Population Act of 1971 ( RA 6365 ) and adopted the First 5-year Population Program in 1971. Programs developed to address the Philippine Development Goals that have some impact on children are: Parent Effectiveness Service, Neighborhood Parent Effectiveness Assembly have been found effective for rural parents, Self-Employment

Assistance that evolved from economic advancement program in the late '60s to include a broad range of social and economic objectives for individual and family development. Special Services for Solo Parents is a package of social services that help solo parents respond to the stresses brought by solo parenting. At that time, the phenomenon of overseas contract work was more for men but in the 90's and 2000's to the present which is three decades hence, the problem is the feminization of overseas contract work. It is surmised that effects of such phenomenon on families are far reaching. A study on the impact of overseas contract work on these workers' children though, showed no significant adverse findings. Another program on family welfare is the Homelife Management Development ( HMD ) where domestic helpers and home aides are provided with knowledge and skills in home management and child care which is a strategy to enrich the family.

Specific Child Welfare Program consists of Child Placement Service, Neighborhood Protective Service for Children, Residential Care, Foster Care, Adoption and Day Care Services. All these services for children were developed in the '60s when the then Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) had the UNICEF Assisted Social Services Project to develop and improve social services for children and families as part of the total development of the country's welfare program. The Welfareville Centralized Intake that are used to screen all children served as basis for discharge, planning and assessments of all requests for institutional care became the forerunner of the Child Placement Service. The Welfareville Institutions were decentralized in the 1960s to give way to specific areas in the regions for the Reception and Study Centers for Children and Youth. There were also Needy Children's Services established in 1962 that provided financial assistance to one-parent families ( mothers only) to prevent further re-institutionalization of children for reasons of poverty alone. The program of adoption and guardianship which provided permanent placements for abandoned and neglected children were strengthened and intensified in 1962. Day Care Service was developed in 1964 with assistance from UNICEF for the first 60 day care centers. In 1968, the Bureau of Family and Child Welfare was organized and it was the same bureau that was tasked with the implementation of the Day Care Service.

 

Chapter I. BIRTH PAINS AND GLORIES (1975- 1977 )

Primarily, this writer relied on documents recovered from both the Council and the DSWD library. Those materials were not much since the Council had moved its office several times and records have been lost. Interviews with former staff and members of the INTERACT were also undertaken to get some glimpses of the beginning work of the Council.
The First Chairperson of the Council was the Department of Social Services and
Development ( DSSD ) Secretary Estefania Aldaba-Lim in 1975 and the first full-time executive director was Atty. Ester de Jesus-Amor who was then supported by a core of technical staff and volunteers from the youth sector. The Executive Director and her technical staff held office at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) while the Administrative staff stayed at the DSSD- National Capital Region Office in Legarda, Manila. Most of the inter-agency activities of CWC were then held at the PICe. Preparations for the Decade of the Filipino Child Plan of Action (1977-1987) through planning workshops and fora were done by these inter-agency committees on Poverty, Mortality and Morbidity, Malnutrition, Disability, Illiteracy, Delinquency through the different programs specified in the next chapter. The Council developed the Executive Training System for -child care workersII that include the CWC secretariat, the International Year of the Child secretariat, the senior management staff of governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as organizations who voluntarily join the training program. Actively chairing major programs initiated by the Council in the 70s and early 80s were the Secretaries of Health, Clemente Gatmaitan , Enrique M. Garcia, Education
Secretary Juan Manuel and DSWD Secretaries Estefania Aldaba-Lim and Sylvia Montes and Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig representing the Office of the President, CWC's original agency- attachment. Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts' Judges Regina Ordonez N Benitez, Corazon Juliano-Agrava and Leonor Inez- Luciano were all active in the Council's Board as well as sectoral panels. Atty. Ester de Jesus-Amor, with only a handful of staff, started work on interagency policies and programs for children at CWC in 1975. An interview with Ms
Eding Mallari- O'Kane's recollection showed that there were only four technical staff who worked then with the executive director. Actively involved in the Council's work were the technical staff and heads of bureaus and divisions of both government and nongovernment agencies.

Presidential Decree 996 on Compulsory Basic Immunization for Infants and Children Below Eight Years of Age was approved by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos in September 1976. Also in 1976, the Council formulated and adopted the Rules and Regulations of the Child and Youth Welfare Code on four (4) selected subject areas : Rule No. 1- Foreign Adoption, Rule No. 2 - Preventive Alert System, Rule No. 3- Employment of Children in the Movie, Television, Radio and Entertainment Industry and Rule No. 4- Administration and Program Operations of the Council for the Welfare of Children.

 

Chapter II. - MAKING IT WORK" (1977-1986)

The Council came up with the comprehensive program for the Decade of the Filipino Child for 1977-1987. The decade program is described as the expression of an entirely new philosophy and system of delivery of services where the rights of children are not only enhanced but more importantly, are translated into services. The principal strategy of the ten-year plan is to institute an integrated system of services, incorporating the old as well as new ones, and molding all public and private agencies into a coordinated network of change agents.

There were four major areas for programming namely:

  1. Reduction of child Nrelated problems like mortality, morbidity, malnutrition, illiteracy, delinquency, disability etc.
  2. Improvement of efficacy of the delivery of services through the Decade networks and systems, the establishment of links between existing structures and the infusion of innovative approaches into the mainstream of government and non-government projects and activities.
  3. Upgrading the quality of services which converge on needy children and those with special needs as well as expansion of services in order to reach out to the underserved, underdeveloped and depressed areas.
  4. Development of activities to alleviate and offset the ill effects of poverty.

The Decade of the Filipino Child ( 1977-1987 ) publication covers a total of fifteen (15) projects and interventions that include the following: Value Identification and Inculcation, Compulsory Basic Immunization, National Preventive Alert System, Child Advocacy, Protection of Working Youth, Child Placement and Resource Development, Youth Offender Network, Housing for Minors, Timely Crisis Intervention, Management Information System, Executive Training System, Organization of Local Councils for the Protection of Children, Quality of Services, Convergence on Needy Children and Children with Special Needs and Children of Cultural Communities. The Decade of the Filipino Child was the Philippines' contribution to the United Nations International Year of the Child ( IYC ) Celebration in 1979, the 20th year of the adoption of the UN

Declaration on the Rights of the Child in 1959. The lYC was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1976 to be celebrated in 1979. The attention on children's issues was further emphasized when former DSWD Secretary and CWC Chairperson Estefania A1daba-Lim was appointed Special Representative for the International Year of the Child (lYC in 1979). Secretary Fanny A1dabaNLim was the first Filipina to be appointed at the UN with a rank of assistant director general. The lYC was a two-year campaign (1978-1979) that aimed at raising awareness of governments of developed and developing countries on the need to invest on children by increasing resources for critical services and programs. Secretary Urn visited more than sixty (60) countries where she met with heads of states, First Ladies, ministers of education and health, national lYC Commissions and NGO representatives. The role of the envoy was to advocate, inspire, motivate, explain, advise and guide the key actors in the countries visited. She visited rich and poor countries, those who are strong supporters and active participants in lYC, and those which needed more push to strengthen their participation in the Year.

Executive Order No. 708 series of 1981 was issued which reorganized the Office of the President. Specifically, it provided for the attachment of CWCY to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Much of the work of the Council then were with DSWD , non- governmental child-caring agencies, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judges and civic organizations.

 

Chapter III. - THE TRANSITION YEAR" 1986

The year 1986 was a tumultuous one where the first ever -People Power" Revolution toppled the 20-year Constitutional Authoritarian Government of President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. There ensued a change in the leaderships of the various departments with President Corazon C. Aquino's assumption as the first woman president of the Republic of the Philippines. Dr. Mita Pardo de Tavera became Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and eventually, Atty. Ester de Jesus- Amor also had to give way to her successor. Dr. Elvira Sto. Nino- Dayrit became the second executive director of CWCY in mid- 1986. She attempted to clear up the then administrative problems in the office, moved the entire secretariat that used to be in separate offices ( DSWD-NCR for Administrative and Finance staff and PICC for technical staff ) into one office at SWADCAP in Taguig. She firmed up the reorganization proposal for CWC which came out as E.O. 233 s. 1987. In less than a year, Dr. Dayrit ended her stint as executive director of CWCY when she decided to move to the Maternal and Child Health Service of the Department of Health as director. Directors Rita Roque and Rosario Marasigan took turns in taking Officers-In-Charge functions at CWC as they also started to hire permanent staff for the secretariat. Director Marasigan worked out CWCY's administrative and finance division's separation from the DSWD internal system by completing the office's lone position staffing for said division.

 

Chapter IV. STABILIZING THE AGENCY ( '87-'95)

Executive Order 233 s. 1987 Redefining the role and organizational structure and enlarging the membership of the Council for the Welfare of Children was approved as part of the overall reorganization of government. Executive Director Ma. Elena Caraballo became the third executive director of the Council. The first order of the day for Director Caraballo was to complete the hiring of staff per DSWD-approved staffing pattern based on E.G. 233. There were thirty-six ( 36 ) authorized personnel of the Council in 1990. With the completed staff complement of the Secretariat, the different structures of the Council were again convened and organized. Projects with UNICEF assistance were re-initiated which were mostly on the Advocacy and Social Mobilization Project; Advocacy for Early Childhood Care and Development and Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances. Programme Coordination and Monitoring Project of the Country Programme for Children (CPC) was jointly undertaken by CWC and NEDA during the third and fourth country programme periods the time fTames of which coincided with the respective Presidential Administrations (Presidents Aquino [1986-1992] and Ramos [1992-1998]). Appreciating the value of reaching the Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children, the Council began organizing its regional networks that mirror the Council's national membership. The executive director herself visited regional directors of CWC member agencies to discuss relevant issues on children and requested for their active support for the cause of children in the region. All regions had active Regional Committees/Sub-Committees for the Welfare of Children except the National Capital Region by the end of 1994. These regional networks actively worked on their respective regional situationers on children as inputs to the National Plan for Children (1990-1992) and eventually the Philippine Plan of Action for Children (PPAC 1992-2002).

President Corazon C. Aquino issued Proclamation No.855 s.1992 proclaiming the adoption and implementation of the Philippine Program of Action for Children in the 1990s. The operationalization done with National CWC / RSCWC teams at provinces and cities served as the forerunner strategies in the development of local plans for children using the PPAC as the Framework. Worthy to note development during this period was the finalization and adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989 and the Philippine's ratification of the same as the 31st State Party. Being the government's child-focused agency, the Council for the Welfare of Children was instrumental in advocating for support with the respective bodies in the country. In 1992, CWC successfully nominated former DSWD Undersecretary and CWC Technical Management Committee Chairperson Mrs. Flora C. Eufemio as member of the UN Committee on the

Rights of the Child. Mrs. Eufemio was the first Filipino member of this 10-person committee of experts that monitors State Party implementation of the CRC. The Initial Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, prepared and adopted by CWC was submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 1993. Dialogue of the Philippine Delegation with the Committee was done in January 1995.

As part of the advocacy to local governments in the implementation of the National Barangay Day Care Law or RA 6972, the Council initiated an Award for Outstanding Local Governments in the Implementation of said republic act. Also in support of the advocacy for child rights, CWC worked with Metro Manila city schools (both public and private) through the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) city schools divisions where high school children depicted the situation of children,and the Philippine Plan of Action for Children. The same strategy of children's involvement in child rights education was advocated with the RSCWCs for replication in their respective areas.

 

Chapter V. Re- Working! Reengineering the Council ( 1995- 1999)

Executive Director Ma. Elena Caraballo was detailed at the DSWD Bureau of Child and Youth Welfare (BCYW) right after the dialogue of the Philippine delegation with the Committee on the Rights of the Child. BCYW Assistant Director Divina Caalim became Officer InCharge of CWC for the above period. This exchange of officials was regarded as part of the Human Resource Development Program of the DSWD.

Immediately after the Philippine Delegation's dialogue with the Committee on the Rights of the Child, CWC Chairperson and DSWD Secretary Corazon Alma de Leon initiated action teams to respond to the concluding observations of the UN Committee. These teams also undertook the dissemination of the Philippine Initial CRC Report through conduct of fora and other consultations on relevant issues on children. Examples of issues covered in the series of consultations were on the removal of discrimination against illegitimate children and regulating sex and violence in the media, among others.

The chairmanship of the Council changed in the middle of the Ramos Administration (1995) when Secretary Corazon Alma de Leon was appointed Chairman of the Civil Service Commission. Then DSWD Undersecretary Lina B. Laigo became DSWD secretary and CWC Chairperson. Two important initiatives which Chairperson Laigo focused on children were the strong pursuance of the RA 7610 child sexual abuse case against an incumbent congressman and advocacy for the passage of important legislations on children such as RA 8369 (Family Courts Act of 1997), RA 8370 (Children's Television Act of 1997) and RA 8552 (Domestic Adoption Act of 1998). The 5-year World Bank- Asian Development Bank Funded Early Childhood
Development Project, a joint DSWDIDOHlDepED project on health, nutrition, psychosocial development and early education for 0-6 year old children started during the period. This pilot project covered Regions VI, VII and XII.

Production of information materials such as television and radio plugs, CRC photo exhibits and contests, primers, CRC cards as well as various awards were intensified during the period. The Asian Summit on Child Rights and the Media highlighted the various campaigns undertaken in 1996. The Media Campaign Against Child Abuse was also done during the period. Partnership with ILO-IPEC was intensified with the presidential signing of laws on children and formal turnover of the Philippine Ratification of ILO Convention 138 as well as the advocacy against child labor.

Researches were undertaken on the Age of Discernment of Children ( Over nine but under-fifteen years); Laws on Persons and Family Relations and review of overlapping provisions of child-related laws. The findings of said studies were used as bases for the Legislative Agenda for Children which was idealized from the CRC and adopted during the period. The Implementing Rules and Regulations for PD 603's youth offender provisions was completed and corresponding information campaign was done on the same year onwards.

In 1998, President Joseph Ejercito Estrada appointed his vice-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development who also acted as chairperson of the Council For The Welfare of Children. Vice-President Arroyo strongly supported the Council's initiatives especially that of firming up the leaderships of the regional committees/ sub-committees for the welfare of children(RC/RSCWC). She pursued and intensified the holding of back-to-back quarterly National Development Management Conferences (NDMCs) now National Management Development Conferences (NMDCs) and RC/SCWCs thus maximizing the UNICEF funds to augment DSWD and CWC funds. She and her CWC Chairperson designate DSWD Undersecretary Felicidad Villareal strongly supported the National Anti-Poverty Commission's Poverty Eradication Program and specifically the children's participation through the Children Basic Sector Council (CBS). In 2000, then Vice President, DSWD Secretary endorsed CWC as the lead agency for the CBS. Plans and frameworks like Child 21, Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Comprebensive Program on Children in Armed Conflict were drafted towards the end of the 1990s; awards for young heroes and heroines and Child NFriendly Municipalities and Cities were developed and started within the period. The same were completed and finalized (except the awards for young heroes and heroines that was pursued by DILG) in 2000.

Worthy to note achievement in this period ( 1997 ) was the completion of the first ever CWC owned two-storey building at a former DSWD-owned 800 square-meter land at No.1 0 Apo St., Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City.

 

Chapter VI. WORKING THROUGH, MAKING TRUE (2000-2002)

In February 2000, Director Ma. Elena Caraballo was back at CWC. She saw to the completion of Child 21, the National Framework Plan Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Handling Children in Armed Conflict ( MOA on CIAC). The NAPC-CBS that got appointed in 1999 became the prime movers of the First National Summit on Children that cuhp.inatedthe series of island-wide consultations of children. The children came up with th~ir Anti-Poverty Action Agenda that was presented to President Joseph Ejercito-Estrada in the summit held at the end of the year. The Summit on Children was a culmination of three important undertakings on children namely: the situation of children 2000 that completed the Philippine Report on the World Declaration on Child Survival, Development, Protection and Participation; launch of Child 21 with the various program and services for children and the NAPC-CBS Anti-Poverty Action Agenda.

All these were part of the Summit on Children with 300 children core delegates for the pre-summit workshop and some 5000 children who attended the Summit proper convened by President Estrada with the then Presidential Adviser on Children's Affairs Maria Ana -Jamby" Madrigal in cooperation with CWC and NEDA. It was December2000whenthen President Joseph Ejercito-Estrada signed RA 8980 or the Early Childhood Care and Development Law institutionalizing a national System for Early Childhood Care and Development. This law tasked CWC to also function.as the National Early Childhood Care and Development Coordinating Council (NECCDCC) and provided PAGCOR funds for such undertaking. Completion and approval of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of said law was done during the period.

In early 2001, a popular, bloodless and peaceful uprising forced then incumbent President Estrada to give way to his vice-president to assume the remaining half of the term as president. Secretary Corazon “Dinky" Juliano Soliman succeeded then DSWD Secretary Dulce Saguisag who stayed in her post for only five months. During Secretary Saguisag's short stay at DSWD and as Chairperson of the Council for the Welfare of Children, she presided over the Second National Search for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities Awards held in Bago City, Negros Occidental. The period after EDSA 2 can be characterized as very exhilarating and promising for children since President Arroyo was seen as someone who intimately knew of the Council's work on children when she was its chairperson. One of President Arroyo's first public appearance after her installation in office was at the Say Yes Campaign for the 10-Point Agenda for Children in the New Millennium. She also first introduced her Anti-Poverty Program dubbed as KALAHI- Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan.

The year 2002 was a year of intensified work on mainstreaming of CHILD 21 and the ECCD Law. The Council Board approved the Second CRC Implementation Report for submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Medium Term Framework on the Girl Child. The Council also endorsed to the Philippine Senate and to the President the ratification of the Two Optional Protocols to the CRC on the Involveqlent of Children in Armed Conflict and the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. The Macro Monitoring System for the CRC and CHILD 21 was completed for pilot implementation during the year. By mid-2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed LINA B. LAIGO as the CWCINECCDCC Executive Director and the Council Board's appointment of the deputy executive directors ensued with Ma. Elena S. Caraballo and Emerita I. Garon as deputy executive directors for CWC and ECCD concerns, respectively. By the third quarter of 2002, when the Executive Director and the two Deputies assumed office, pilot ECCD areas were identified namely Zamboanga Sibugay (Region 'IX), Southern Leyte (Region VIII), Albay (Region V) and Mandaluyong City (NCR). )3ythe fourth quarter of 2002, all four co-chairpersons of the Council had agreed on a rotating presidership of the Council on a quarterly basis: First Quarter- DILG, Second Quarter- DOH, Third Quarter- Dep ED and Fourth Quarter- DSWD. At the time of this agreement, the secretaries of the four departments were: Secretary Jose D. Lina Jr.-DILd; Secretary Manuel M. Dayrit- DOH; Secretary de Jesus- DepEd and Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman- DSWD.

This period is characterized by leaps and bounds of CWC undertakings where the ECCD Law implementation by the local governments took off in the pilot areas right after its launch in February 2003 led by then DILG Secretary and CWC/NECCDCC Presiding Chairman Jose D. Lina Jr. The four co-chairpersons of the Council each had an opportunity to push for their respective programs for children during the year until they decided to embark on an integrative foundational campaign for children called BRIGHT CHILD. By April 2003, it was Executive Director Lina B. Laigo, Dep. E.D. Ma. Elena S. Caraballo and Dep. E.D. Marilyn F. Manuel vice Dep E.D. Emerita Garon ( who went back to private practice) who developed the project. Both an ~dealand a goal for the Filipino child, this campaign aims to appeal to children, parents, duty-bearers and stakeholders alike to work for having an active, alert, healthy, happy child who is well cared for and protected from abuse and exploitation. This campaign promotes delivery and utilization of basic services especially for young children. President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo granted CWC a five (5) million peso seed fund for Bright Child projects through Executive Order 286 s. 2004. Each of the departments came up with programs that contribute to the Bright Child Campaign such as the Day Care program by DSWD, Pre-School Program by DepEd as well as Supplemental Feeding in day care centers and schools. Fivechild-relatedlawswereenactedin 2003 and 2004 namely RA9208 ( Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act); RA 9231 ( Worst Forms of Child Labor Act); RA 9255 (Act Allowing Illegitimate Children to Use the Surname of their Father); RA9262 (Anti- Violence Against Women and their Children Act); RA 9288 (Newborn Screening Act). The respective Implementing Rules and Regulations of aforementioned laws were also adopted by the concerned agencies/inter-agencybodies during the period. A second volume of the Laws and Issuances on Children was produced by CWC for the dissemination of the latest laws and issuances on children.

Part of the institutional development efforts of the Council is the holding of a series of capacity building sessions on systems design and collaborative network management by the national coordinating office and its network of member and partner agencies. The CWC Resource Center was developed and expanded with an ECCD Comer, an electronic database of its collections on children and child-friendly computers for ready access to its users. A framework and guidelines for its management and operations serves as a resource, not only for nearby child development workers, but also for all regions and local governments nationwide.

Along with the capacity-building efforts was the upgrading of the CWC building. A third floor and repartitioning were done with the existing building where provisions for bigger office spaces and more conference rooms were factored in. Built into the building structure was the local area network connectivity with internet facilities within the executive offices and divisions. Aligned with the systems design training done in early2004andstrategicplanningto pushfor Child21/NPAC,theCWCGovernment

Repositioning Plan (GRP) was developed and submitted to the Department of Budget and Management. This CWC-GRP proposes for a strengthened and upgraded structure and staffing io.order to meet the demands ofCWCINECCDCC operations. Though still for approval, the different divisions/units are now on a repositioned mode per agreed upon plan.

In 2005, the Council coordinated the updating ofthe second CRC Report and eventual dialogue of the Philippine delegation with the I8-person Committee on the Rights of the Child in May. Also as part of the Council's effort to do international networking, it hosted the First East Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation of National Government Bodies and Lead Agencies For Children which was attended by some 17 country delegations from different government ministries. Post consultation task of each dblegation was to get clearance from their authorities to participate in the network with updates on country's situation of children, issues and responses as well as efforts to respond to commitments in the East Asia Ministerial meeting held earlier in the year. Thailand is next host to this bi-annual consultation meeting. An undertaking for the second half of 2005 was the series of consultations held in (regional cluster areas on the seven venues or areas where violence against children (VAC) are being committed. One all-children and six- adult consultations were held with the last one held in early 2006 for the Bicol/ Southern Tagalog regions. Outputs of these consultations were consolidated and became the basis of an updating and Plan of Action on Violence Against Children. These consultations were done in partnership with UNICEF, DSWD, PLAN Phil., Save the Children-UK, RC/S/CWCs, Open Heart Fdn. and ECPAT Phils. The same agencies provided technical guidance on the consultation documentation and plan of action formulation. CWC as the National Focal Agency on VAC provided overall management and organizational support.

The different internal capability-building, team formation and development, core values as well as improvements in the work environment created positive and stronger work values in the staff. These resulted in increased self-esteem and pers(Jmalworth and a general feeling of a strong corporate image. Such is the pervading atmosphere at CWC on its 30th year of existence as a secretariat and its 31st year as a;nationalgovernment entity per Child and Youth Welfare Code or PD 603.