(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Saturday, 27 November 2021) Shear Line affecting the eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon. Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Palawan and Zamboanga Peninsula. Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorm affecting the rest of Mindanao. Caraga Region will have Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorm. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate coastal waters / (0.6 to 2.1 meters). /span>



Friday, November 5, 2021

Caraga media join virtual learning session on Child Sensitive Reporting

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY – To increase awareness among media practitioners on how they frame their news stories involving children, the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation - Integrated Development, Inc. (JPIC-IDC, Inc.), in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga, has organized a virtual learning session on Child Sensitive Media Reporting with media practitioners in the different provinces of Caraga region.

Reanne Mantilla, project manager of Cinemobile 4 Project of JPIC-IDC, Inc. revealed that this learning session aimed to achieve the following objectives: 1) be oriented with the different child protection laws specifically the salient features of Republic Act 7610, Republic Act 9775, Republic Act 9208/Republic Act 10364 and Republic Act 10175; 2) be familiarized on the task and responsibilities on the different child safeguarding protocols in reporting cases of Trafficking in Persons, Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) and other cases involving abuse and exploitation of children.

Executive director of JPIC-IDC, Inc. Fr. Romeo Cagatin stressed that media practitioners play a vital role in society. "They are neutral. They share news stories to the public so people will know about the events happening across different places. We can use the media to educate people, and especially to protect children from all forms of violence and abuses," he cited.

Also, on behalf of regional director Abner Caga of PIA-Caraga, assistant regional director Fryan Abkilan highlighted that this event is a celebration of the role of the media in addressing child abuse and exploitation, a societal issue that has harmed the lives of children across generations. 

"Abuse against children has taken multiple forms over the years but its genesis and its effects on its victims are nonetheless the same. One of the key solutions to this problem is education and awareness among the public and its potential victims. Fortunately, we live in a time where people are more willing to be educated and we, in the public information sector and in the media, play a crucial role in making sure that that is being promoted continuously. In our advocacy to end child abuse and exploitation, we must always remember that in our power to inform our people, we also carry with us the great responsbility of ensuring that we use information to educate those who are in care of our children, which is basically us and the rest of the adult population. Abuse and exploitation especially of our children is a grave matter. We must continue  to protect and advocate for them. Be their voice," he underscored.

During the session, Atty. Lorraine Vallinas, lead, Prosecution Development – International Justice Mission (IJM) Cebu, thoroughly discussed the salient features stipulated in the Child Protection Laws such as the Republic Act 7610: Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act; Republic Act 9208: Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003; Republic Act 10364: Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012; Republic Act 9775: Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009; and Republic Act 10175: Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Vallinas said that with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there had been several cases recorded involving children who had become victims of trafficking and online sexual exploitation. She emphasized that people in the community should be able to detect these kinds of abuse and violence, know where to report, so they could also help save the children from being harmed.

Trafficking in Persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include at a minimum the exploitation of prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of human organs,” reiterated Vallinas.

On the other hand, Rebelander Basilan, lead of the Media, Communications and Corporate Engagements Global Hub Against Online Sexual Exploitation of Children of International Justice Mission, presented the roles and responsibilities of media in relation to the rules of confidentiality on child protection issues, with focus on the sexual exploitation of children as well as the child safety protocols in reporting.

“As reporters and writers, we must be aware and conscious of the details that we share online or with the public and observe strict confidentiality. These information include the names of the children-survivors and related offender or family; specific home address like barangay, sitio and the like; specific location of rescue; name of school; and non-redacted files, among others,” said Basilan.

Meanwhile, Alexis Cabardo, anchorperson of PTV8 Agusan from the province of Agusan del Sur and a participant of the virtual activity, expressed that this session was useful especially for those covering for the media and making news stories involving children. “Now that we are fully aware of the laws protecting the children, we also learned the appropriate ways of disclosing or presenting news stories without violating their rights,” he said. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)