Quezon City News
DSWD gives QC orphanage time to fix violations
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Monday said the Gentle Hands, Inc. (GHI) has been given enough time to correct violations before a cease-and-desist order (CDO) was issued against the Quezon City orphanage, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
Gatchalian said numerous letters were sent to GHI informing them of the violations that need to be addressed particularly the overcapacity, fire hazards and hygiene concerns.
“First of all, it was not abrupt. As early as August, we were already telling them to correct, as early as August 2022. Then another letter in February 2023, right about when I took the helm, and then another one on March 14. Meaning there were numerous letters reminding them to correct these things,” Gatchalian said.
Contrary to GHI’s claim that they were not given due process, Gatchalian said the orphanage has actually been given three warnings to fix the violations.
“I personally saw the imminent danger and as the parent of the nation, the Government has the power to protect those who cannot protect themselves. It is our responsibility,” he added.
He said the private orphanage did not take action despite letters and notices issued by the DSWD.
“Clearly, they didn’t take action kasi (because when I went there on a Saturday, the last warning was March 14, I went on March 20, and nandoon pa rin yung infractions (and the infractions are still there). They were still pervasive,” he said.
The children-residents who were pulled out from GHI were transferred to the DSWD’s three centers and residential care facilities (CRCFs) -- Elsie Gaches Village in Alabang, Muntinlupa City; Nayon ng Kabataan in Mandaluyong City and the Reception and Study Center for Children in Quezon City.
To guarantee the safety, security and well-being of its clientele, the DSWD is retooling its programs and services, including the CRCFs and Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs), Gatchalian said.
The DSWD is also conducting a rapid assessment of the privately-run centers nationwide, he added.
“Moving forward, I have already instructed our Standards Bureau to conduct a nationwide rapid assessment of all care facilities, yung sa mga seniors (those for the seniors), mga battered women, in the privately-run [centers]. We want to make sure that the baseline is there so that we know how we stand in all these care facilities,” Gatchalian said.