By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) may take temporary custody of a two-year-old child left unattended in a parked vehicle in Pasig City over the weekend.
A viral video showed a distressed toddler alone inside a parked car. The car’s engine was turned off, as the child was supposedly left by his or her parents to attend to personal matters.
“There is due punishment to this. If parents are found (really) at fault then we will have to get the child from them until such period that we will see that they are serious in taking care of the child,” DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo said.
She pointed out that DSWD social workers have already talked to the child’s parents “to determine the degree of liability from leaving him alone.”
“I have asked our DSWD-NCR regional director and social workers to talk to the parents and see the degree of liability to the child,” she said.
“Why leave the child inside a car with its engine turned off? Even if the air conditioner is open, that is also dangerous to the child who can be suffocated,” she added.
Citing the Republic Act (RA) 7610, Orogo said neglecting or hurting a child can already be considered a child abuse. “When we bring the matter to the legal arena, I think our judgment towards the case is already up to the court,” she said.
RA 7610 or the “Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination,” stipulates that child abuse includes words, action, deed, or any condition prejudicial to the child’s development.
The violation of this law is punishable by imprisonment.