With this, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III urged the public to report to DOLE Hotline 1349 any mistreatment of young Filipinos whose parents are working abroad.
“I am asking the public that if they witness or suspect that the child of an OFW is being abused, they should call our Hotline 1349 so we can ensure the safety of the child,” he said in a statement.
Citing the UNICEF’s National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children: Philippines, Bello noted that children left behind by OFW parents are prone to abuses.
The labor chief said the reports that will be received by Hotline 1349 are going to be validated and investigated by DOLE, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Justice (DOJ).
“We have to protect these children. One way of protecting them is to report this to our Hotline 1349. We will investigate, and if necessary, rescue the child. Mahirap kasi na ang pinagtitiwalaan mo na mag-aalaga sa anak mo ay iyon pa ang mag-aabuso sa mga bata (It is unacceptable that the very people to whom OFWs entrust their children, would be the ones to abuse them),” Bello added.
He said the hotline is in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte for government agencies to ensure that queries and concerns of the public are immediately acted upon. (PNA)