By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Various government agencies have committed to strengthen and fast track the process of legal adoption in the Philippines for the “best interest of the children.”
The signing of a memorandum of agreement was led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DoH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Justice (DoJ), as part of the Adoption Consciousness Celebration.
“This celebration aims to intensify the advocacy for the practice of correct and legal adoption of abandoned, surrendered, or neglected children. We recognize the efforts and important roles of our partners who are engaged in this advocacy,” DSWD Undersecretary for Special Concerns Virginia Orogo said.
Orogo, who also serves as chairperson of the Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) Alternate said the renewed partnership of DSWD with DILG, DepEd, and DoH will beef up the legal adoption advocacy.
Meanwhile, the new partnership formed through the inclusion of the DOJ will help expedite adoption cases filed in family courts.
“We hope that this partnership will continue for the best interest of the children,” Orogo added.
“We are ready and open to cooperate, and to make the necessary adjustments and rules in order to fast track adoption cases,” DoJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said.
Also present in the signing were DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali, DILG-National Barangay Operations Office Director Leocadio Trovela, DSWD-Protective Services Bureau Director Ma. Alicia Bonoan, and DSWD-MIMAROPA Regional Director Wilma Naviamos.
The new agreement signed by the partner agencies aims to ensure that all local government units (LGUs), health and medical workers, students and teachers, and family court staff especially those who are handling adoption cases are aware of the significance of legal adoption.