A. R.A. 7610 (Section 28)

     [See page 148.]

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B. RULES AND REGULATIONS IN THE INVESTIGATION AND REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE CASES

     (Sections 9-15)

     [See pages 223-224.]

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C. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 56

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 56
AUTHORIZING THE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SERVICES AND DEVELOPMENT TO TAKE PROTECTIVE CUSTODY OF CHILD PROSTITUTES AND SEXUALLY EX-PLOITED CHILDREN, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

     WHEREAS, for those who fall prey to prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation due to their fragile age, immediate protection must be accorded by the government to arrest their moral decline and lead them back to the path of morality;

     WHEREAS, in pursuance of its responsibility over the welfare of the youth, the Ministry of Social Services and Development must be given more powers to implement effectively the govern-ment's commitment against child prostitution and exploitation;

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, do hereby order:

     Section 1. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any minor who is apprehended or taken into custody by any peace officer or by the duly authorized officers of the Ministry of Social Services and Development [now the Department of Social Welfare and Development] for engaging in prostitution or other illicit conduct punished under existing laws shall, immediately from such apprehension, be delivered by the arresting officer to the Ministry of Social Services and Development or to its duly authorized office or agency within a particular terri-torial jurisdiction for protective custody.

     The Ministry of Social Services and Development shall be responsible for the appearance of the minor under its protective custody in court or any administrative agency whenever required.

     For the purpose of this Executive Order, a minor shall refer to any person below sixteen (16) years of age.

     Section 2. The Ministry of Social Services and Development shall provide suitable programs for the full rehabilitation of the minors under its custody which shall, among others, include the appreciation of proper moral values, psychological or psychi-atric treatment, education in the probable physical ailment or disease which they may contract or the dangers of unwanted preg-nancy, and appropriate training for work-skills to prepare them for a decent living.

     Section 3. The custody of persons, other than the apprehended minor, shall be in accordance with the ordinary criminal proce-dure as prescribed by the Rules of Court and other laws.

     Section 4. The Ministry of Social Services and Development shall notify the mayors of the municipalities and cities of the business establishments, clubs, or houses, used or allowed to be used for prostitution of minors, and petition for the immediate forfeiture of their business licenses and closure of their busi-ness establishments.

     Section 5. The sum of Three million pesos (P/3,000,000.00) is hereby appropriated out of any available funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Social Services and Development in the implemen-tation of this Executive Order. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary for this purpose shall be included in the annual Gener-al Appropriations Act.

     Section. 6. The Ministry of Social Services and Development is hereby authorized to call upon any ministry, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality of the government for assistance in the implementation of this Executive Order.

     Section 7. The Ministry of Social Services and Development shall, in coordination with the Ministry of Justice, promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement this Executive Order.

     Section 8. All laws, orders, issuances and rules and regula-tions or parts thereof inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

     Section 9. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

     DONE in the City of Manila, this 6th day of November, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-six.

CORAZON C. AQUINO
President

By the President:

JOKER P. ARROYO
Executive Secretary

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D. LEGAL PROCEDURES FOR THE CUSTODY OF DEPENDENT, ABANDONED, NEGLECTED CHILDREN

     Protective custody ends when the child worker is reunited with his/her family. However, in cases where the child has no parents or guardian, or where the child's own parents or guardian have abandoned, abused or neglected the child, legal steps must be taken for the permanent custody of the child by the DSWD or a licensed child placement agency. The following are the relevant provisions of the Child and Youth Welfare Code with respect to the custody of dependent, abandoned and neglected children.

CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE CODE

     Art. 141. Definition of Terms. -- As used in this Chapter:

     1. A dependent child is one who is without a parent, guardian, or custodian; or one whose parents, guardian or other custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of his care custody; and is dependent upon the public for support.

     2. An abandoned child is one who has no proper parental care or guardianship, or whose parents or guardians have desert-ed him for a period of at least six continuous months.

     3. A neglected child is one whose basic needs have been deliberately unattended or inadequately attended. Neglect may occur in two ways:

     a. there is physical neglect when the child is malnourished ill-clad and without proper shelter.      A child is unattended when left by himself without provisions for his needs and/or without proper supervision.

     b. emotional neglect exists: When children are maltreated, raped or seduced; when children are exploited, overworked or made to work under conditions not conducive to good health; or are made to beg in the streets or public places, or when children are in moral danger, or exposed to gam-bling, prostitution and other vices. [Underscoring supplied.]

     4. Commitment or surrender of a child is the legal act of entrusting a child to the care of the Department of Social Wel-fare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual.
     Commitment may be done in the following manner:

     a. involuntary commitment, in case of a dependent child, or through the termination of parental or guardianship rights by reason of abandonment, substantial and continuous or repeated neglect and/or parental incompetence to discharge parental responsibilities, and in the manner, form and procedure hereinafter prescribed.

     b. voluntary commitment through the relinquishment of parental or guardianship rights in the manner and form herein-after prescribed.

     Art. 142. Petition for Involuntary Commitment of a Child: Venue.-- The Department of Social Welfare Secretary or his authorized representative or any duly licensed child placement agency having knowledge of a child who appears to be dependent, abandoned or neglected, may file a verified petition for involun-tary commitment of said child to the care of any duly licensed placement agency or individual.

     The petition shall be filed with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, if any, or with the Court of First Instance of the province or City Court in which the parents or guardian reside or the child is found.

     Art. 143. Contents of Petition: Verification. -- The petition for commitment must state so far as known to the petitioner:

     1. The facts showing that the child is dependent, abandoned, or neglected;

     2. The names of the parent or parents, if known, and their residence. If the child has no parent or parents living, then the name and residence of the guardian, if any; and

     3. The name of the duly licensed child placement agency or individual to whose care the commitment of the child is sought.

     The petition shall be verified and shall be sufficient if based upon the information and belief of the petitioner.

     Art. 144. Court to Set Time for Hearing: Summons. - When a petition for commitment is filed, the court shall fix a date for the hearing thereof. If it appears from the petition that one or both parents of the child, or the guardian, resides in province or city, the clerk of court shall immediately issue summons, together with a copy of the petition, which shall be served on such parent or guardian not less than two days before the time fixed for the hearing. Such summons shall require them to appear before the court on the date mentioned.

     Art. 145. When Summons Shall Not be Issued. -- The summons provided for in the next preceding article shall not be issued and the court shall thereupon proceed with the hearing of the case if it appears from the petition that both parents of the child are dead or that neither parent can be found in the province or city and that the child has no guardian residing therein.

     Art. 146. Representation of Child. -- If it appears that neither of the parents nor the guardian of the child can be found in the province or city, it shall be the duty of the court to appoint some suitable person to represent him.

     Art 147. Duty of Fiscal. -- The provincial or city fiscal shall appear for the State, seeing to it there has been due notice to all parties concerned and that there is justification for the declaration of dependency, abandonment or neglect.

     Art. 148. Hearing. -- During the hearing of the petition the child shall be brought before the court, which shall investigate the facts and ascertain whether he is dependent, abandoned, or neglected, and, if so, the cause and circumstances of such condition. In such hearing the court shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence.

     Failure to provide for the child's support for a period of six months shall be presumptive evidence of the intent to aban-don.

     Art. 149. Commitment of Child. -- If after the hearing, the child is found to be dependent, abandoned, or neglected, an order shall be entered committing him to the care and custody of the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual.

     Art. 150 When Child may Stay in his Own Home.-- If in the court's opinion the cases of the abandonment or neglect of any child may be remedied, it may permit the child to stay in his own home and under the care and control of his own parents or guard-ian, subject to supervision and direction of the Department of Social Welfare.

     When it appears to the court that it is no longer for the best interests of such child to remain with his parents or guard-ian, it may commit the child in accordance with the next preced-ing article.

     Art. 151. Termination of Rights of Parents. -- When a child shall have been committed to the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual pursuant to an order of the court, his parents or guardian shall thereafter exercise no authority over him except upon such conditions as the court may impose.

     Art. 152. Authority of Person, Agency or Institution. -- The Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed placement agency or individual receiving a child pursuant to an order of the court shall be the legal guardian and entitled to his legal custody and control, be responsible for his support as defined by law, and when proper, shall have authority to give consent to his placement, guardianship and/or adoption.

     Art. 153. Change of Custody. -- The Department of Social Welfare shall have the authority to change the custody of a child committed to any duly licensed child placement agency or individual if it appears that such change is for the best inter-ests of the child. However, when conflicting interests arise among child placement agencies the court shall order the change of commitment of the child.

     Art. 154. Voluntary Commitment of a Child to an Institution. -- The parent or guardian of a dependent, abandoned or neglected child may voluntarily commit him to the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual subject to the provisions of the next succeeding articles.

     Art. 155. Commitment must be in Writing. -- No child shall be committed pursuant to the preceding article unless he is surrendered in writing by his parents or guardian to the care and custody of the Department of Social Welfare or duly licensed child placement agency. In case of the death or legal incapacity of either parent or abandonment of the child for a period of at least one year, the other parent alone shall have the authority to make the commitment. The Department of Social Welfare, or any proper and duly licensed child placement agency or individual shall have the authority to receive, train, educate, care for or arrange appropriate placement of such child.

     Art. 156. Legal Custody. -- When any child shall have been commit-ted in accordance with the preceding article and such child shall have been accepted by the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual, the rights of his natural parents, guardian, or other custodian to exercise parental authority over him shall cease. Such agency or individual shall be entitled to the custody and control of such child during his minority, and shall have authority to care for, educate, train and place him out temporarily or for custody and care in a duly licensed child placement agency. Such agency or individual may intervene in adoption proceedings in such manner as shall best inure to the child's welfare.

x x x

     Art. 159. Temporary Custody of Child. -- Subject to regula-tion by the Department of Social Welfare and with the permis-sion of the court in case of judicial commitment, the competent authorities of any duly licensed child placement agency or indi-vidual to which a child has been committed may place him in the care of any suitable person, at the latter's request, for a period not exceeding one month at a time.

     The temporary custody of the child shall be discontinued if it appears that he is not being given proper care, or at his own request, or at the instance of the agency or person receiving him.

     Art. 160. Prohibited Acts. -- It shall be unlawful for any child to leave the person or institution to which he has been judicially or voluntarily committed or the person under whose custody he has been placed in accordance with the next preced-ing article, or for any person to induce him to leave such person or institution, except in case of grave physical or moral danger, actual or imminent, to the child.

     Any violation of this article shall be punishable by an imprisonment of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than two thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court: Provided, That if the violation is committed by a foreigner, he shall also be subject to depor-tation.

     If the violation is committed by a parent or legal guardian of the child, such fact shall aggravate or mitigate the offense as circumstances shall warrant.

x x x

     Art. 163. Restoration of Child After Involuntary Commit-ment.-- The parents or guardian of a child committed to the care of a person, agency or institution by judicial order may petition the proper court for the restoration of his rights over the child: Provided , That the child in the meantime, has not been priorily given away in adoption nor has left the country with the adopting parents or the guardian. The petition shall be verified and shall state that the petitioner is now able to take proper care and custody of said child.

     Upon receiving the petition, the court shall fix the time for hearing the questions raised thereby and cause reasonable notice thereof to be sent to the petitioner and to the person, agency or institution to which the child has been commit-ted. At the trial, any person may be allowed, at the discretion of the court, to contest the right to relief demanded, and wit-nesses may be called and examined by the parties or by the court motu propio. If it is found that the cause for the commitment of the child no longer exists and that the petitioner is already able to take proper care and custody of the child, the court, after taking into consideration the best interests and the welfare of the child, shall render judgment restoring parental authority to the petitioner.

     Art. 164. Restoration after Voluntary Commitment. -- Upon petition filed with the Department of Social Welfare the parent or parents or guardian who voluntarily committed a child may recover legal custody and parental authority over him from the agency, individual or institution to which such child was volun-tarily committed when it is shown to the satisfaction of the Department of Social Welfare that the parent, parents, or guardi-an is in a position to adequately provide for the needs of the child: Provided, That the petition for restoration is filed within six months after the surrender.

     In all cases, the person, agency or institution having legal custody of the child shall be furnished with a copy of the petition and shall be given the opportunity to be heard.

     Art. 165. Removal of Custody. -- A petition to transfer custody of a child may be filed against a person or child welfare agency to whose custody a child has been committed by the court based on neglect of such child as defined in Article 141 (3). If the court, after notice and hearing, is satisfied that the allegations of the petition are true and that it is for the best interest and welfare of the child, the court shall issue an order taking him from the custody of the person or agency, as the case may be, and committing him to the custody of another duly licensed child placement agency or individual.

     The license of the agency or individual found guilty of such neglect may be suspended or revoked, as the court may deem proper, in the same proceeding.

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E. SUSPENSION/ TERMINATION OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY

     - FAMILY CODE (Arts. 230-232)

     [See pages 138-139.]

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