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Valenzuela is one of the 16 peripheral cities that comprise the greater Manila metropolitan area, located about 15 km north of Manila City. Over the past five decades, the city has grown into a major industrial and economic base with a population of about 600,000. It is subdivided into 33 neighbourhoods (barangays). The city-wide poverty rate is 22% and about 13% of households are estimated to have insufficient income (< USD 120 per month) to satisfy basic food needs. The city government has received numerous awards for its employment and micro-entrepreneurship development programmes as well as timely health and social protection policies.

The first National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children (NBSVAC), launched in 2016 by the Council for the Welfare of Children, found an 80% total prevalence of all forms of violence against children across
various settings. There are currently several coordinated efforts in order to provide the adequate comprehensive medical, psychosocial and police services to abused children and their families. The Philippines is a Pathfinder country of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, thus the government seeks to continue improving their National Action Plan in response to violence against children mainly through the enhancement of legislation, policies, programmes, and interventions. It also seeks to capitalize on evidence-based policy recommendations the capacity building and/or strengthening of all service providers in order to prevent and respond to violence against children.

The research team is led by Dr Bernadette Madrid, Executive Director of the Child Protection Network Foundation and convenor of the Child Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation (CANE) Study Group under the Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the UP Manila National Institutes of Health. She is a specialist in research on adverse childhood experiences, child maltreatment, and the functioning of child protection services, and she has a long experience in providing policy advice both nationally and internationally. The team also includes Prof. Edith Liane Alampay, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology of the Ateneo de Manila University. She is an expert in cross-national comparative research on child adjustment and co-investigator of the Parenting across Cultures study, a longitudinal study conducted in 13 cultures across the world.

Image source: Prof. Manuel Eisner