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DepEd, DSWD uphold the rights of adopted children

PASIG CITY, Philippines – In line with its advocacy of protecting and upholding the rights of Filipino children, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) held the National Oratorical Contest and Awarding Ceremony with the theme “Legal na Ampon ako: Anak na Totoo (A Child Finds Worth in Legal Adoption)” at the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City on July 28, 2016.
Sixteen (16) of the best high school orators from all regions in the country participated in the said contest, which showcased their oratory skills and widened their understanding and appreciation on the process of legal adoption. This effort is in observance of the 2016 Adoption Consciousness Celebration which aims to call for public attention and ensure nationwide awareness on legal adoption of surrendered, orphaned, abandoned, and neglected Filipino children in need of permanent home and family.
In his welcome remarks, DepEd Assistant Secretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs Atty. Tonisito Umali cited that in the Philippines, the prevalence of adopting children without undergoing proper proceedings must be stopped. “Ito po ay hindi lamang usapin ng konsepto na ang bata ay legal na makukuha ang apelyido ng kanyang ama, o ang karapatan niya sa mana ay tulad ng sa isang tunay na anak. Pinag-uusapan din natin dito ang respeto at pantay na tingin natin sa isang batang walang pamilya ay magkakaroon ng tunay na pamilya,” Umali said.
“Konsepto ito na walang bata, walang Pilipino na ‘maiiwan’,” he added. The said event was also attended by the officials and personnel from the DSWD which worked hand in hand with the DepEd to conduct this initiative. “Ang ampon ay tunay na anak. At ang tunay na anak ay dapat mahalin. Dapat mamuhay sila nang may dangal. Higit sa lahat, dapat malaman ng lahat na mayroon din silang karapatan dito sa ating bayan,”
DSWD Assistant Secretary Hope Hervilla said. Ena Francesca Cadayona from the CARAGA Regional Science High School in CARAGA Region bagged the grand prize. Joyce Ken Lei Daquio from the Kidapawan City National High School in Region XII was 1st Runner-Up and Jona Mocam from the Matanao National High School in Region XI was 2nd Runner-Up.
In her oratorical winning piece, Cadayona reminded the public to practice the process of legal adoption. “Ang legal na pag-aampon ang siyang magiging daan upang mabago ang buhay ng mga batang napagkaitan ng maginhawang pamumuhay. Mahirap man at mahaba ang proseso, tiyak na kagandahan ang maidudulot para sa ating lahat.” This effort is pursuant to Proclamation No. 72 signed on February 3, 1999 by then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, which mandates the observance of the Adoption Consciousness Day.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.