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Headline: Series of Forum Highlights Importance of Various Approaches to Solving ‘Street Children’ Issues

Date: September 2018 to July 2019

 

A series of forums in Iloilo City and Davao City fleshed out the need for a clear but varied approach in understanding and solving the problems faced today by Filipino children in the street situations (CiSS).

A. Smaller Events 

A Project Technical Working Group (PTWG) formed in September 2018 led the engagement with members from the government, academe, and non-profit groups. During their first meeting, the team clarified each role and responsibilities for a couple of months ahead.​

B. Smaller Events

The PTWG convened next in January 2019, highlighting the need to conduct child-sensitive researches on street children. The event concluded with an action plan on how to conduct further studies on this vulnerable sector. 
 

C. Smaller Events

Meanwhile, further discussions went on up until July 2019. The third meeting highlighted the importance of understanding children through their perspectives when formulating researches and programs for them. 
 
The PTWG recognized that CiSS differ in characteristics and risks experienced, and it is the duty of the stakeholders and community to realize it and address the said concerns. 

Creation of the Project Technical Working Group Hotel del Rio, Iloilo City | September 5, 2018 

2nd Project Technical Working Group Meeting Diversion 21 Hotel, Iloilo City, Iloilo | January 16, 2019 

3rd Project Technical Working Group Meeting Park Inn by Radisson, SM City Iloilo Complex | July 10, 2019 

Visayas and Mindanao Region-wide Gatherings of Street Children NGOs and Other Stakeholders

I. NGOs Kicks Off Partnership for Children in Street Situations

Various nonprofit groups and other stakeholders from Visayas and Mindanao met on separate occasions to jumpstart a collaboration on how to further identify the identities and assistance needed by Filipino children in street situations.

The gatherings served as an opportunity for the groups with the same causes to align on its purpose and set activities of the project.

 

Among the objectives established by the group were the following: plan on how NGOs can collaborate through the creation of a network; scope the content of the website as an electronic platform of coordination of the proposed network; and determine the research requirements to generate more data.

III. Visayas Gathering of Street Children NGOs and Stakeholders Life Academy, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo | September 27-28, 2018

For the Visayas leg, a total of 37 attendees joined the gathering, participated in by five government agencies and 13 NGOs.

The guests and speakers of the event were Linda Luz Guerrero of Social Weather Station, Ramil Anton Villafranca of Council for the Welfare of Children, and James Joseph Opider of Department of Social Welfare and Development – National.

Also, present were representatives from Region VI (Western Visayas), Region VII (Central Visayas), and Region VIII (Eastern Visayas).

II. Mindanao Gathering of Street Children NGOs and Stakeholders Jade Dragon Suites, Davao City | October 25-26, 2018

For the Visayas leg, a total of 37 attendees joined the gathering, participated in by five government agencies and 13 NGOs.

 

The guests and speakers of the event were Linda Luz Guerrero of Social Weather Station, Ramil Anton Villafranca of Council for the Welfare of Children, and James Joseph Opider of Department of Social Welfare and Development – National.

Also present were representatives from Region VI (Western Visayas), Region VII (Central Visayas), and Region VIII (Eastern Visayas).

Key Highlights of the Visayas

and Mindanao

Street Children NGOs &

Stakeholders Gatherings

Iloilo Calajunan (14).JPG

DEFINITION OF CHILDREN IN STREET SITUATIONS (CISS)

Emphasis on the importance of properly defining who “Children in Street Situations” are. As defined in General Comment 21 on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Children in Street Situations (CiSS) are those who depend on the streets to live and/or work, whether alone, with peers or with family; and a wider population of children who have formed strong connections with public spaces and for whom the street plays a vital role in their everyday lives and identities Constructive comments were made towards the improvement of the current STRIMS system survey form of the DSWD; for one, the current form of the survey seems a bit confused (perhaps this is not the perfect term) in defining who a CiSS is.

 

For instance, should shelter dwellers be considered CiSS (Mr. Opider maintains that they fall under the category of a homeless child)?

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DATA BANKING

DATA BANKING & POLICY IMPLICATIONS

The need for accurate and efficient data banking procedures resonated throughout the day. This is a big challenge given that data is used in policy-making.

 

Implied in the discussions that the policies on street children in recent years were informed by data from 2012, and until we build an updated data bank, the 2012 data will be the point of reference for policies and actions towards CiSS.

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CAPACITY BUILDING

CAPACITY BUILDING

Strong need for capacity building in handling CiSS. Concerns on the capacity of the LGUs and other government offices in handling CiSS led to the emphasis on the importance of building parallel structures that aim to educate everyone, not only the stakeholders but also the CiSS as well.

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DATA SHARING

DATA SHARING/ ONLINE PLATFORM

Efficient data sharing is also imperative. Data that is readily made available to the network allows for quick coordinated responses to the activities of the network, or in cases where partner organizations may need data for benchmarking.

An efficient online platform allows for this; partner organizations can tap each other in a very efficient manner. This is also the network’s way of reaching out to other networks and organizations for funding, technical, and other types of support.

RESEARCH

ETHICAL RESEARCH PROCEDURES

The practice of ethical research procedures is imperative especially that we are handling a vulnerable population. Informed consent, and more importantly, informed assent must be observed in all research undertakings so as not to violate the voluntariness of the CiSS’s (and their family’s) participation in data gathering procedures.

VALIDITY

Validity (and reliability) concerns are also of importance. Validity in the translation and back translation (especially in locales where there are communication barriers), and reliability (with emphasis on effective triangulation of data) especially given the transitory nature of the CiSS are important considerations in data gathering.

CONTEXT

Context is also very important, and as such a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies hold a lot of value in every stakeholder’s praxis. The context will be very important, especially as we move on to phase 2 (which focuses on Livelihood support), with the knowledge that sociocultural and political considerations in a certain locality will effectively factor into the success or failure of a program.

PRINCIPLES

The principles of beneficence and non-maleficence, as well as confidentiality, were, however, not discussed. Questions on how the data should be used and who gets to see (and use) the data are also important questions in establishing good research practices.

RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS

Given the evolving context of CiSS and their families (e.g., their transience, seasonal migrations, growing families, changing environments in a certain locale, etc. ) it is also important to adapt research methodologies and instruments to fit the context of a certain locality. In a fast-paced, digital world, it is most likely that we need to continuously evolve research methods and instruments to keep up with the demand for valid and reliable data that will not only inform, but also lead to policy-building.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DATA-DRIVEN PRACTICES

With regards to any methodology, data is of primary importance. One cannot make the invisible visible without data. Data informs us of whether something is working or not. Therefore, statistical visibility is an important one that cannot be measured cannot be fully helped.

ARCHIVING AND DOCUMENTATION

Archiving and documentation are important processes because the things that we do should survive the rest of us. If you do not have time to write, take a video of yourself and use that to inform your recruits to Archive everything, including raw data. Every research should always build on the next research. As mentioned previously, important information especially those written in the manual of operations is vital in the sustained provision of the services not only by the specific stakeholder but also the network as a whole.

THE VISAYAS GATHERING: KEY HIGHLIGHTS AND BULLET POINTS

NETWORK

The participants affirmed the need for the formation of the Visayas Network of Street Children. The network will start as a loose formation, which will be formalized with a designated secretariat

To have an MOA as a binding agreement between the project and the NGOs interested to join the network. Having the MOA will secure a commitment from partners, which includes being featured on the project website.

The purpose of the Visayas Network is to be a venue for coordination, collaboration of information, and convergence

To identify additional potential members for the network and to seek commitment from NGOs or other stakeholders represented in this gathering

Having a Business Directory is important for network coordination.

DATA

The participants acknowledge the absence of baseline data on Children in Street Situations.

The “COMPRE” project should be continually monitored and evaluated for replication and adaptation in other areas.

LGUs that have piloted the Comprehensive Program For Children & Families at Risk in the Streets have started collecting data. However, it is limited only to selected pilot areas. The issue about adapting this by the LGU remains a concern.

The participants also bring up the need for capacity building and learn more about StRIMS and the Clients Profile Sheet.

STRATEGIES

Participants want to know more about strategies for handling CISS.

Strategies should be cost-effective.

Implement programs (Modified conditional cash transfer, COMPRE, Project Helping them Off the Street and Mainstreaming Effective Strategies and Interventions, Silungan ng Barangay) on street children

LifeBank Foundation and SWS agreed to explore methodologies on how to effectively count street children.

RESEARCH

Most methodologies used by organizations in identifying the activities include profiling, mapping, FGDs, consultative meetings, surveys, KII, needs assessment, replication of best practices.

Some projects such as livelihood were lacking in social preparation and were fast-tracked due to the short time frame of implementation

There are issues on the reliability of information gathered, budget for data gathering, and manpower, and most data are not updated.

There is a need for other NGOs to share the research they have conducted.

Pilot Development of Case Studies with Central Philippine University

NGO Network Partners with CPU to Study ‘Street Children’

With recognition from its network that there is only limited study and current data on children in street situations (CiSS), the Street Children NGO Support Project has partnered with the Central Philippine University.

The collaboration aims to address the gap in research through the actual conduct of on-ground interviews and surveys in Visayas and Mindanao. The pilot case studies were done in select communities in Panay: Estancia, Iloilo City, and Roxas City.

The research was designed to understand the situation of CiSS and their families. Findings from it would be used as a benchmark to develop programs, projects, and activities that aim to address the problems concerning CiSS.

New Sub-Committee to Protect ‘Street Children’ Conducts Strategic Planning

The newly created Sub-Committee on the Protection and Welfare of Children in Street Situations (CiSS) held a national strategic planning workshop from March 26 to 28, 2019 in Quezon City.

With participants from all over the country, the workshop aimed to outline the goals and targets of the government and civil society for CiSS. The final plan is intended to be presented to the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) for adoption and implementation from 2019 to 2022.

The Street Children NGO Support Project of the Lifebank Foundation, with its partners from Visayas (Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation- Integrated Development Center, Inc.) and Mindanao (Tambayan Center For Children’s Rights, Inc.) joined the national planning session.

Street Children NGO Network Seals Partnership thru MOA

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Regional Visits and the Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement

The Street Children NGO Support Project affirmed the commitment among its network members through a memorandum of agreement signed on separate occasions.

During Visayas and Mindanao gatherings in September and in October 2018, the partner NGOs confirmed the necessity to forge partnership and collaboration between and among themselves, as well as other stakeholders to pursue the same principles and advocacy.

To formalize the partnership, the Street Children NGO Support Project has formulated a Memorandum of Agreement highlighting the roles and responsibilities and the sharing protocol of research materials and knowledge products on street children.

To further discuss the salient points of the MOA and set plans for the group, the project has planned a series of regional visits in Region 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Field visits were also done to deepen the understanding of the staff about the activities of partners and get insights into the street children in their respective areas.

LifeBank Microfinance Foundation Partners with SWS to Uncover Truth on Children in Street Situations

Engagements with Social Weather Stations on “Estimation on National and City-Level Headcounts of Situation of Children in Street Situations (CiSS) in the Cities of Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro

LifeBank Foundation partnered in 2019 with survey powerhouse Social Weather Stations for the Street Children NGO Support Project.

The deal was made to gather data on the “National and City-Level Headcounts of and Situation of Children in Street Situations (CiSS) in the Cities of Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro.”

Participants huddled in a series of focus group discussions about ways to profile and estimate the number of CiSS in selected two highly urbanized cities, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro. The groups deliberated the operational key terms, survey instruments, fieldwork strategies, and methodologies. All these towards making street children count.

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Resources

  1. Directory

 

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Children in street situations consulted for General Comments No. 21 spoke strongly about the need for respect, dignity, and rights. In expressing their feelings, they said, inter alia: 

 

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In the past, the terms used to describe children in street situations have included “street children”, “children on the street”, “children of the street”, “runaway children”, “throwaway children”, “children living and/or working on the street”, “homeless children” and “street-connected children”. In the General Comment No. 21 (2017), the term “children in street situations” is used to comprise: (a) children who depend on the streets to live and/or work, whether alone, with peers, or with family; and (b) a wider population of children who have formed strong connections with public spaces and for whom the street plays a vital role in their everyday lives and identities. This wider population includes children who periodically, but not always, live and/or work on the streets and children who do not live or work on the streets but who regularly accompany their peers, siblings, or family in the streets. 

 

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Our food each day depends on what people give us and on how much we earn. There is an Indian mango tree I refer to as a love tree. It is a love tree because if we don’t have any food to eat, I simply pick mango fruits. If given an opportunity, I also want to eat other food, not just Indian mangoes. I dream of becoming a teacher someday.

 

  1. RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS

  1. Cebu City Case Stories

 

  1. Page 1

 

His mother works as a community welfare assistant, a livelihood training program provided by the Cebu City government. His father works as a laborer where his skills are needed. Because his parents did not have a regular job, he used to beg for money in the street to help his family. He went alone because he did not want his parents to know about his doing. One time, he witnessed violence: two people were fighting. They were trying to stab each other with a knife. He froze for a moment and hid somewhere he could not be found. He does not want to go back to the street in fear that he will be involved in such violence. (paragraph 3)

 

He wants to become a policeman one day to catch people who are doing bad things. There are “drug lords” who are living in their place, making their community not safe, he says. (paragraph 4)

 

The reason that he is not able to attend school is  because his parents are not able to provide him his allowance. But he believes education, with the help of God, is going to be instrumental in the realization of his dreams. (paragraph 5)

 

He believes that when he becomes a policeman, he will be able to help his mother and alleviate their status in society. Eventually, he will build a house that has electricity and water supply and is no longer in the informal settlement. (paragraph 6)

 

  1. Page 2

 

Shiela is 11 years old and comes from a family composed of 11. She is currently a grade 6 student. Four members of her family are in jail: Kuya Beboy, Ate April, Ate Malin, and her mother. She does not know the reason why they are in jail. Her father stays in bed at home most of the time because of leg pain he has been suffering for months. From time to time, he beats Shiela.

 

“Must because of his condition,” she says, explaining why he beats her oftentimes. 

 

Two of her sisters already have their own families. They bring her food if they visit her. Currently, she is staying with her uncle and takes care of their bunso, the youngest in the family. 

 

She stays at Senior Citizen Park to spend time with her friends and works as a parking assistant. When she is free, she goes to the internet shop to watch videos on Youtube. “Kiningkoy,” she exclaims. Cartoons. She also has a Facebook account, in which she chats with random foreigners. 

 

Her mother will be out in December, she was told. “What month is it now?” she asked. She misses her mother who has been in jail for years. She visits her, bringing food she buys from working as a parking assistant. 

 

She studies hard because she wants to have a good future. The reasons why she can’t go to school include: not having money or allowance and school supplies. That is why sometimes she is late in attending school because she goes to the park to get some money. 

 

In the future, she wants to be a nurse to take care of her father who always complains about his leg pain. If she builds a hospital, she will also attend to the needs of those people who need medical attention but cannot afford to go to hospitals.

 

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Nene is 11 years old and is in grade 6. There are 13 of them in the family. Two of her siblings graduated from high school and are currently working. Their house is located in an informal settlement, near the river in Senior Citizen Park, Cebu City. Because their house is too small to accommodate the 13 of them, some of her siblings sleep in places she doesn’t know where. Her father beats her, which happens often when he gets drunk. 

 

In the street, near their house, she earns money from working as a “parking assistant”. It is also the place where she gets to play with her friends who also work as a parking assistant. In their spare time, they sing together. 

 

She says she does not like policemen because they are bad people. Her sister’s phone was taken by the police and never returned to her. She goes home when it is already dark. The climate of tokhang can be felt in their community. One reason why she does not like to go home is the fear of raids. Sometimes policemen are asking her if she knows people who are into drugs. 

 

Though it is not clear what career she wants to have in the future, she wants to build a house big enough to accommodate her family in the house. The house should be big enough so that her siblings can live with them and will finally be together. At first, she says she wants to become the mayor of Cebu City but changes her answer to become the country’s president: to scold bad cops and build housing projects for the poor.

 

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She wants to help her mother who works as a Community Welfare Assistant, a livelihood program provided by the Cebu City Task Force on Street Children to the parents and caregivers of street children. Her father works as a laborer in the city from where they live. He goes home during the weekend. If he does not earn enough money to go home, stays the weekend at his workplace. 

 

“Makaeskwela para makatabang sa pamilya,” she said to realize her dreams. Finish education to help my family. Sometimes, she buys food for her brother and keeps it as a school allowance, the money she earns from doing laundry. 

 

Very shy and soft-spoken, she wants to become a nurse and build a hospital. She wants to help people who cannot afford to go to the hospital for a medical check-up. 

 

People in their community are like that. “Nagkadengue siya,” she recalled. He (her brother) suffered from dengue fever. Her brother was never brought to the hospital because of poverty. The barangay does not offer them medicine because they are not close to the barangay officials. When her dreams turn into reality, she will help not only her family but also other people.   

 

  1. Profile of CiSS

    1. Estimates of Potential CiSS in the Philippines

 

  1. Page 3

 

Lifebank Microfinance Foundation, Inc.’s mission is to be a catalyst in poverty reduction through the provision of financial solutions to microentrepreneurs coupled with social services for their family members. The Streetchildren NGO Support Project (SNSP) aims to strengthen the capacity of the network of non-profit groups and local government units in creating a better future for Children in Street Situations.

 

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From March to August 2019, LBF partnered with Social Weather Stations (SWS) to implement a study on CiSS that aimed to: 

• Estimate the CiSS population at the national and regional levels, using available government data (originally per proposal, the objective was at the national and city level 2 ) and; 

• Generate profiles of CiSS by implementing surveys among CiSS in the cities of Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro. This paper presents a methodology to estimate the CiSS population and the resulting figures.3 

 

The paper first discussed earlier estimates of the CiSS population in the Philippines and then attempted to come up with a new estimate of the potential CiSS at the national and regional levels using 2015 available government data. 

 

The methodology is applied to Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro to see if the results are plausible in the light of the parallel survey of street children profiles in those cities. 

 

  1. Page 7

 

In 1998, the estimate was 222,417 CiSS in 65 major cities in the country, of which 111,208 were in Metro Manila, based on DSWD’s Ahon sa Lansangan rescue operations program report (cited in Lamberte, 2002). 

 

222,417 CiSS in 65 major cities 111,208 CiSS in Metro Manila 111,209 CiSS in other major cities 6 Resolution urging the Senate Committee on Youth, Women, and Family Relations to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the programs and approaches of the Department of Social Welfare and Development to sweep and clear the Metropolis of Street Children to craft legislation that promotes a long-term solution to the problem. 

 

In 1999, the estimate was 1.5 million, based on Senator Herrera’s House Bill 620 (Manila Bulletin, 1999 July 25 cited in Lamberte, 2002). Senator Manny Villar also mentioned this “1.5 million” estimate in his Senate 

 

Resolution No. 5706 (18 August 2011). This estimate is an outlier compared to estimates reported elsewhere; the source of the “1.5 million” figure was not cited and could not be verified. 03 In 1991, the estimate was 223,000 CiSS, cited in Senator Herrera’s House Bill 620 establishing a Php 100 million Children’s Welfare Fund (Manila Bulletin, 1999 July 25, cited in Lamberte, 2002). 

 

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Lamberte’s study of 2002 has since been most often cited by the government, the Council for the Welfare of Children, and others. Unfortunately, the procedures for arriving at the count of street children were not explicitly discussed in any of these studies and pronouncements. In particular, the basis for the assumption that 3% of the population aging 0-17 years and 5% of urban poor children are street children are not given. Replication is therefore not feasible. 

 

  1. Page 9

 

For this paper, “children” in this study include Filipinos aged 0 to 17 years old. Thus, when drawing national- and regional-level estimates of street children, this is the age bracket that is covered. SWS used available government data for the estimates, specifically July 2015 merged Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) and Labor Force (LFS) datasets. The merged FIES + LFS dataset contains socio-economic variables that enabled SWS to come up with national, regional, and selected city level estimates of street children.

 

Conducted quarterly (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct) by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) among about 51,000 households, the main objective of the LFS is to monitor the changes in employment status of persons in the working-age population (employed, unemployed, and not in the labor force) during a specified time, thereby providing a quantitative framework for the preparation of plans and formulation of policies affecting the labor market. Specifically, the survey is designed to provide statistics on levels and trends of employment, unemployment, and underemployment of household members aged 15 and above for the entire country and for each of the administrative regions (PSA, May 2012).

 

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In July 2015, the dataset used in the estimate of potential CiSS, results show that out of the estimated 66.6 million population of 15 years old and up, those in the labor force were 62.9%, and of these, the employment rate was 93.5% and the unemployment rate was 6.5% (PSA, March 2016)

 

In April 2019, the latest data as of this writing, results show that out of the estimated 72.5 million population of 15 years old and up, those in the labor force were 61.4 % and of these, the employment rate was 94.9%;  and the unemployment rate was 5.1% (PSA, June 2019). 

 

Conducted every 3 years by the PSA among about 50,000 households, the FIES provides data on Filipino family income and expenditure which include, among others, levels of consumption by item of expenditure as well sources of income, in cash and in-kind. It measures levels of living and disparities in income and spending patterns of families belonging to different income groups. 

 

It also provides related information such as the number of family members employed for pay or profit (or as wage, salary, or own-account workers); occupation, age, and educational attainment of household head; and other housing characteristics (PSA, March 2014). 

 

With about 50,000 households nationwide interviewed for the survey, the FIES is deemed sufficient to provide reliable estimates of income and expenditures at the national and regional levels. Data from the FIES provide basic inputs in the estimation of the country’s poverty threshold and incidence and serve as the basis for policies and programs of the government to improve the socio-economic conditions of the Filipino people.

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The sample households covered were the same households interviewed in the July 2015 and January 2016 rounds of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) (PSA January 2017). The FIES dataset contains information on per capita income deciles of families which could be collapsed into two groups (bottom 30% and upper 70% income groups). More importantly, the dataset also contains information on households classified as poor. The LFS dataset contains information on the employment status of household members 5 years old and above, and also the schooling status of household members 5 to 24 years old (PSA 2015). This information was used to filter household members according to employment and schooling status which can be used in estimating potential CiSS.

 

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Assumption 1: CiSS are more likely from poor households. Poor households are those with incomes below the national poverty line, this information is available in the dataset. To determine the number of children 0 to 17 years old from poor households, select children belonging to poor households in the merged data set in 2015. 

 

Result: children aged 0-17 years old who belong to poor households are estimated at 12,335,663 individuals for the entire country. This represents 31.4% of children aged 0-17 in the entire country.

 

• Assumption 2: CiSS is likely to be an urban phenomenon. To determine the number of children 0 to 17 years old belonging to poor households and residing in cities or municipalities that are provincial capitals, filter the merged data to retain those residing in cities and municipalities that are provincial capitals. 

 

Result: In 2015, children aged 0-17 years old who belong to poor households and are living in cities or municipalities that are provincial capitals10 are estimated at 2,998,092 individuals for the entire country. This represents 7.6% of children aged 0-17 in the entire country. 

 

• Assumption 3: CiSS is more likely a city phenomenon.11 To determine the number of children 0 to 17 years old who belong to poor households and residing in cities only, filter the data to retain those residing in cities only. LIFEBANK FOUNDATION 

 

Result: In 2015, children aged 0-17 years old who belong to poor households and residing in cities only are estimated at 2,665,795 individuals for the entire country. This represents 6.8% of children aged 0-17 in the entire country. 

 

• Assumption 4: CiSS are more likely not studying: To determine this, filter data to retain those not studying. Since schooling status was asked only of household members 5-24 years old and did not include those 0-4 years old, estimates for the 0-4 will be derived based on their proportion concerning the 0-17 years old. 

 

Result: In 2015, children aged 5-17 years old who belong to poor households and residing in cities only and not studying are estimated at 275,391 individuals for the entire country. Since the 5-17 age group represents 74.6% of the 0-17 age group who are poor and residing in the city, the derived total for ages 0-4 is 93,851. This results in a total estimate of potential CiSS of 369,242 individuals. This represents 0.9% of children aged 0-17 in the entire country.

 

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Considering that children from poor families living in cities who do not go to school are most likely to be CiSS, the estimate of 369,242 should be considered a minimum estimate. Among the remaining 2.3 million children (2,665,795 minus 369,242) from poor households residing in cities who do go to school, there is likely to be a significant but unknown proportion who after school is working in the streets to contribute to their families’ income. This is borne out by the findings of the surveys in Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro which reported that more than 80% of the CiSS survey sample of ages 5-17 go to school. If this were to apply nationwide, the number of CiSS would be higher


 

  1. Pangabuhi-sa-Dalan-ILOILO/CDO

    1. Page 3

 

This monograph presents the socio-demographic profile and other relevant information of Iloilo City’s Children in Street Situations (CiSS), also known as Street Children. The report is part of a larger initiative undertaken by Lifebank Microfinance Foundation, Inc. (LBF) in collaboration with Social Weather Stations (SWS) to gather current and accurate information on the number, profile, and condition of street children in Iloilo City and other major cities in the Philippines. 

 

Lifebank Microfinance Foundation, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit organization based in Iloilo City engaged in delivering microfinance services to enterprising poor women and social programs to its members, their families, and communities, and to society in general to achieve the mission of “breaking the chains of poverty”. LBF’s Street Children Project, launched in 2018, aims to establish a Network of Street Children NGOs in the Visayas and Mindanao, gather more accurate information on the number and profile of these children, provide financial support for NGOs needing technical assistance, and offering microfinance services to deserving families of street children. 

 

With this monograph, LBF wishes to contribute to the activities and plan of the Iloilo City government for its street children. Hopefully, the report can also encourage policy action and mobilize resources from the private group that will result in multi-sectoral services for this vulnerable sector. 

 

Let us all join hands in addressing the plight of street children, rebuilding their lives, and giving them the dignity that they deserve.

 

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Social Weather Stations (SWS) is very pleased that it was part of this endeavor (pioneering to SWS!) to research children in street situations (CiSS) and doubly glad that Lifebank Foundation decided to immediately share the findings with the public. 

 

SWS in designing the methodology was cognizant of the oft-repeated limitations of this kind of research: (a) sample is not representative as there was no observational headcount done; (b) many of the children may not be covered since many of them move from place to place continuously; (c) getting reliable information on some activities (e.g. illegal or disreputable activities) may not be possible, and (d) data might not be collected in places with threats of violence. 

 

In developing the questionnaire, SWS reviewed previous studies done by Filipino colleagues on Filipino children and literature on research done on street children in many other countries. 

 

In both pre-survey activities, SWS recognized importantly that the research would not be successful unless backed up with first-hand knowledge of “doers” themselves, i.e. those who go out of their way and have mandated themselves to protect and care for children whether in the streets or not. Initially, SWS tested its ideas with the Social Services Development Department of the local government of Quezon City and the Commission of Human RightsChild Rights Center (especially on the consent/ assent forms). 

 

To have others critique its methodology and generate the kinds of questions that can be asked of children, SWS then proceeded to conduct an FGD with the Subcommittee for the Protection and Welfare of Children in Street Situations of the Council for the Welfare of Children. Armed with more resolve, SWS conducted an FGD with members of the City Council for the Protection of Children respectively of Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro. It was such a tremendous help that the Mayor and City Administrator/ CSWDO Head of both cities took a direct hand in organizing and inviting participants to the FGDs; and subsequently providing support (most importantly security and safety) during the interviews itself, a good number of which took place in the wee hours of the morning. 

 

Over 1000 interviews in each of the cities of Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro were completed. 

 

The project was indeed a challenge to undertake but the work of SWS was made easier by collaborating with people and organizations who made it their goal to protect and care for children in street situations. 

 

We have so much to thank Lifebank Foundation for piloting this visionary corporate social responsibility.