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Child Maltreatment Prevention in the Philippines: A Situationer 

The study aims to gather information regarding the situation of child maltreatment as well as relevant primary prevention policies, programs and resources in the Philippines. With decentralized governance, how local communities implement their child maltreatment prevention programs will also be looked into. Key informant interviews with national policy makers and program managers were conducted. Stakeholders from three local government units were also interviewed. Relevant secondary documents were reviewed. The Philippines has a good number of laws, policies and programs on child protection, albeit with limited funds and trained personnel. A number of these laws and policies impact on the prevention of child maltreatment although very few are directly related to primary prevention. There was a disparity between what is required by national laws and policies; and actual implementation of programs on child protection. With the devolution of health and social services, implementation and support for programs depended on the interests and priorities of local executives. This is further compounded by the fact that there is no reliable data on child maltreatment in the country. Recommendations include conducting a national prevalence study on child maltreatment; working with communities to increase their readiness and capacity to implement a primary prevention program on child maltreatment, and identifying a central body with the legal mandate to implement the national plan to end violence against children.