Proclamation No. 759: Declaring the Fourth Week of March 1996 as “Protection and Gender-Fair Treatment of the Girl Child Week

WHEREAS, every Girl Child who is below 18 years of age should be provided with equal opportunities and adequate protection to prepare her for her role in community development.

WHEREAS, there is considerable cause for concern in the increasing number of girls subjected to economic exploitation, prostitution, sexual assault and abuse;

WHEREAS, issues confronting female children like teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS should be specifically addressed;

WHEREAS, some regional and cultural beliefs and practices put the girl child in seemingly disadvantaged situations where they do not have access to education, health care and other opportunities for self-advancement;

WHEREAS, to determine the extent of these problems, the Government has to set a firm age and gender desegregated data based on key social and economic indicators where gaps can be identified, evaluated, and addressed at both family and societal levels;

WHEREAS, the Declaration of the World Summit for Children in 1990 and Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1981 endorsed the right of the girl child to health, education, and employment, as well as protection against all forms of abuse and exploitation;

WHEREAS, issues of equality and opportunities for the girl child were given priority at the 1995 World Social Summit in Copenhagen and in the Beijing Declaration;

WHEREAS, this proclamation reaffirms the Philippines’ commitment to all these global initiatives and reiterates plans and projects embodied in the 1995-2025 Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FIDEL V. RAMOS, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare the fourth week of March 1996, and every year thereafter, as “Protection and Gender-Fair Treatment of the Girl Child Week” under the auspices of the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC).

SECTION 1.  Mandate of Department of Social Welfare and Development. — The Department of Social Welfare and Development, as the lead agency, through the CWC, is mandated to:

a. Review current programs and plans for female children, most especially those with less access to education, health, employment and other opportunities;

b. Develop concrete action plans to correct and improve the status of Filipina children and ensure their fullest and total protection;

c. Propose the rectification of laws that discriminate against female children and the enactment of more gender-fair legislation;

d. Work for the adoption of procedures that will mitigate the burden of a court proceeding where the victim is a girl child; and

e. Promote and develop information campaigns including awareness-raising themes and messages that shall ensure equal opportunities for the girl child.

SEC. 2. Plan of Action. — The CWC is designated to formulate an initial Plan of Action for 1996-2000, provide guidelines and technical assistance in relation to this celebration and undertake the dissemination of this proclamation.

Progress and accomplishment of all these initiatives shall be reported to the President and the Filipino people.

SEC. 3.  Assistance from Other Agencies. — All departments, offices or agencies of the government, including but not limited to the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Labor and Employment and the Philippine National Police are hereby ordered to assist and coordinate with the DSWD and the CWC in the realization of the objectives, as defined in this proclamation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.

Done in the City of Manila, this 6th day of March in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Six.

By the President:

Executive Secretary

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