BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
MEMORANDUM ORDER NO. 257
CONTINUING THE CHILD RIGHTS CENTER IN THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR
WHEREAS, the Memorandum of Understanding — Pledge of Commitment to the Rights of Filipino Children (MOU) dated 18 April 1994 urgently tasked the Commission on Human Rights to operate a Child Rights Center (CRC) that will spearhead the investigation and initiate legal action for and in behalf of child victims of human rights violations and monitor government’s compliance with specific provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Convention);
WHEREAS, the MOU also tasks the CRC to coordinate the national network of special prosecutors and para-legal volunteers, develop training programs on children’s rights, and serve as a clearing house for government agencies and NGOs;
WHEREAS, the “Progress Towards the Mid-Decade Goals” of the Philippine Plan of Action for Children by Year 2000 reports the establishment of the Child Rights Center and underscores the need to update the legislative agenda for children, continue public education and advocacy for sustaining community-based initiatives on protecting children’s rights, and develop a national system for monitoring implementation of the Convention;
WHEREAS, the same Progress Report underscores the need for capacity-building on integrating the Convention in advocacy, programming and monitoring across sectors in all levels;
WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 163 dated 5 May 1987 shrouds the Commission on Human Rights with powers and functions to include monitoring Government compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights, investigation of all forms of human rights violations, and establishment of continuing programmes of research, education and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FIDEL V. RAMOS, President of the Republic of the Philippines, do hereby order:
Section 1. Continuance of the Child Rights Center in the Commission on Human Rights. In order to facilitate and expedite the national implementation of the Philippine Plan of Action for Children by Year 2000, especially with regard to the commitments vis-a-vis the Philippine ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the organization and operations of the Child Rights Center under the Office of the Chairman in the Commission on Human Rights is hereby continued.
Section 2. Inter-agency Support. — The CRC shall continue to enjoy the support of key agencies as follows:
a. The Department of Social Welfare and Development shall provide protective custody, treatment and rehabilitative services to the child victims and their families.
b. The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police shall promote child rights advocacy in their respective organizations and designate Child and Youth Relations Officers in all field offices.
c. The Department of Justice shall facilitate the prosecution of child rights cases by appointing special prosecutors for children’s cases in every region and deputize lawyers attached to the Child Rights Center to handle specific cases. It shall also coordinate with the CRC on witness protection and the referral of cases involving youthful offenders.
d. The Department of Education, Culture and Sports shall include the teaching of children’s rights in all levels of the educational system.
e. The Department of Interior and Local Government shall mobilize support from local governments for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Section 3. Technical and Secretariat Support Focused towards National Monitoring. — The CRC shall continue to have an Executive Director IV and a Deputy Executive Director who shall provide technical and secretariat support to the CRC, respectively. The support shall be especially focused to settling up a national system for monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Section 4. Funding Support The amount of TWO MILLION PESOS from the President’s CY 1995 Contingent Fund shall be allocated for the CRC, particularly its Technical and Secretariat Support for the National System for Monitoring the Convention’s implementation, for February to December 1995, after which funding support in succeeding years shall come from the fund of the Commission on Human Rights.
Section 5. This Memorandum Order shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 7th of February in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety Five.
(Sgd.) FIDEL V. RAMOS
By the President:
(Sgd.) TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR.