Cebu Province takes over My Home, vows to uphold children’s rights

The Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation – Integrated Development Center, Inc. (JPIC-IDC) turned over a center for children in conflict with the law (CICL) called My Home to the Cebu Provincial Government last January 15 in Tayud, Consolacion, Cebu.

The center is a project run by the Society of the Divine Word priests and in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that provided the lot for the two-storey building.

After three years of administering the center, the Cebu Provincial Government through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) will now take over the center. Supposedly it should be turned over to an LGU but no LGU can produce a budget. The Cebu Provincial Government will maintain the center as a house of compassion, generosity, love and help for the CICL.

PSWDO has allocated P6 million as budget for the center in 2015.

PSWDO Consultant Rose Jao said that the budget will be spent for supplies, maintenance, salary and other expenses of the center.

The center has a therapy room, counseling room, activity area, clinic and three large rooms. It has also two house parents, psychologist, social worker, cook and security guard.

At present, My Home has 25 children who are accommodated by the center. They are coming from the different municipalities and cities in the province.

The child can stay at the center for six months to one year depending on their emotional and psychological capability.

A child expressed his feelings towards the governor in an interview, saying he is happy upon meeting him and his wife.

He said that he treated the governor as his father. “Ako giisip nga amahan ang gobernador kay buotan ug maayo siya nga tawo (I treat the governor as my father because he’s a good and a kind person),” he said.

The child was left by his father at the very young age. This led him to commit vices in the past three years. Now at 15, he has changed through the help of My Home center and he is eager to finish his studies and eventually get a good job.

Ako pangandoy mahimong psychologist kay para naku makatabang pod ko ug tambag sa mga bata nga sama naku ug kaagi (My ambition in life  is to become a successful psychologist so that I can help other children who have experiences similar with mine),” he said.

Another child shared his memorable experience inside the center.

Nalipay kaayo ko ug dako nga naabot ko dinhi kay daghan ug nausab sa akoa kinabuhi sama sa pagrespeto ug pagmahal sa isig katawo (I am very much happy for being here because a lot has changed in my life, like learning to respect and to love each other),” he said.

Nakat-on pod ko diri ug pagluto ug pagtabang sa mga buhaton sa kusina (I also learned how to cook and help with the household chores),” he added.

The center is not just for learning but also a center that children could feel the essence of a real family.

Meanwhile, Governor Hilario Davide III, in his message, said that the Cebu Provincial Government is willing to help and continue to support the center.

“The government is responsible of taking care of this center and it is important that we should care the rights of our children,” Davide said

The governor is thankful for the JPIC. He encouraged the children to study hard.

Davide and his wife already visited My Home three times.

Hazel Fuentes, operations officer of JPIC-IDC, said that the project will help a lot in the protection of the children below 15 years old in conflict with the law.

“The children should be provided professional support and treatment for their rehabilitation and reintegration in a child-friendly rehab center,” Fuentes said.