THE REGIONAL Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) in the region linked the lack of parental guidance with the alarming cases of Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children.
RSCWC XI regional coordinator Renee Boy Binondo cited the need to strengthen policies in digital parenting to end online exploitation.
“Hindi nakasabay ang parenting programs natin within the community and barangay sa digitalization,” Binondo said.
“Children are fully aware of how to utilize this world wide web, internet, technologies, and gadgets but our weakness is the parents cannot regulate,” he added. “They need capacity and inform them that they can regulate gadgets, google app store, and internet.”
Binondo stressed that parenting programs must keep up with digitalization, especially in teaching them how to filter the content that children consume and selecting the applications they can navigate as soon as they provide gadgets to them.
“It all boils down with the parental guidance, as in remote areas there are no signals for call and text but there is Pisonet and the very common [platform] is social media, and transactions made through Gcash,” Binondo added.
The official said the children often follow trends and find comfort and belongingness in online communities, which reflect the way they are reared in their homes.
Apart from digital parenting incapacity, Binondo revealed that poverty drives children to be involved in online sexual activities.
“We associate that with poverty and sometimes the children are willing victims of trafficking. They know that it is dangerous but it overrides the problem of hunger and materialism,” Binondo said.
He added these children normally live below the poverty line and want to provide for their families due to food insecurity.
The cycle of violence has to be looked into as well since parents sometimes pimp their kids to online predators.
“We affirm that there are parents, grandparents, who are the people supposed to be protecting their children, who are the ones who are violating their rights,” he added.
RSCWC XI is conducting parent-effectiveness seminars initially for early childhood but strengthened at all levels, especially digital parenting. The Council for the Welfare of Children is now on its 6th edition of the “Parenting in the Digital Age” webinar series.
The regional sub-committee is also celebrating National Children’s Month this November emphasizing the participation and involvement rights of children to increase their capacities, competencies, and life skills to protect themselves against abusers.
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