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Gov't urged to protect children as abuse cases arise amid community quarantine

The Child Rights Network has urged the government to protect children as abuse cases arise amid the enhanced community quarantine.

In a press release, the organization said some children suffer abuses "in the hands of local authorities as forms of discipline for violating the curfew, a non-violent offence."

CRN noted the incidents of children placed inside a dog cage in Laguna and inside a coffin in Cavite.

READ: Barangay chair facing probe for placing youths in a dog cage amid COVID-19 curfew

"We enjoin the Department of Interior and Local Government to immediately issue a memorandum circular that spells the limits and boundaries on how local government units can innovate on instilling discipline and enforcing community quarantine in their respective areas," CRN said.

A memorandum on limitations could prohibit any unlawful act and should provide penalties for officials.

With abuse cases coming up, CRN believes that other cruel and inhumane measures are being imposed but go unreported, especially in far-flung areas.

READ: Int'l rights group warns vs. rights violations amid enhanced community quarantine

To put an end to these abuses, CRN called on the government to protect the children both online and offline by developing easy-to-reach monitoring mechanisms and programs to support parents and guardians on handling children's fears.

Aside from calling the public to be more vigilant, CRN also encouraged citizens to report any case of child abuse they may encounter.

Should you need help, contact Bantay Bata (#163), the Philippine National Police (117/09197777377/ 09667255961/8532-6690) or the Commission on Human Rights (8294-8704/09360680982).

On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte extended the enhanced community quarantine until April 30 to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). --Kaela Malig/MGP, GMA News