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The Child and Youth Law in the


Cesar Chester O. Relleve, Ed D, RGC


December 10, 1974

Article 1. Declaration of Policy. - The

Child is one of the most important assets
of the nation. Every effort should be
exerted to promote his welfare and
enhance his opportunities for a useful
and happy life.

The child is not a mere creature of the

State. Hence, his individual traits and
aptitudes should be cultivated to the
utmost insofar as they do not conflict
with the general welfare.

The molding of the character of the child

start at the home. Consequently, every
member of the family should strive to make
the home a wholesome and harmonious place
as its atmosphere and conditions will greatly
influence the child's development.

Attachment to the home and strong family

ties should be encouraged but not to the
extent of making the home isolated and
exclusive and unconcerned with the interests
of the community and the country.


natural right and duty of parents

in the rearing of the child for civic
efficiency should receive the aid and
support of the government.


institutions, like the school,

the church, the guild, and the
community in general, should assist
the home and the State in the
endeavor to prepare the child for the
responsibilities of adulthood.

Art. 3. Rights of the Child. - All children shall be

entitled to the rights herein set forth without
distinction as to legitimacy or illegitimacy, sex, social
status, religion, political antecedents, and other
(1) Every child is endowed with the dignity and worth
of a human being from the moment of his conception,
as generally accepted in medical parlance, and has,
therefore, the right to be born well.
(2) Every child has the right to a wholesome family
life that will provide him with love, care and
understanding, guidance and counseling, and moral
and material security.
The dependent or abandoned child shall be provided
with the nearest substitute for a home.

(3) Every child has the right to a well-rounded

development of his personality to the end that
he may become a happy, useful and active
member of society.
The gifted child shall be given opportunity
and encouragement to develop his special
The emotionally disturbed or socially
maladjusted child shall be treated with
sympathy and understanding, and shall be
entitled to treatment and competent care.
The physically or mentally handicapped
child shall be given the treatment,
education and care required by his
particular condition.

(4) Every child has the right to a balanced

diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter,
proper medical attention, and all the basic
physical requirements of a healthy and
vigorous life.
(5) Every child has the right to be brought up
in an atmosphere of morality and rectitude
for the enrichment and the strengthening of
his character.
(6) Every child has the right to an education
commensurate with his abilities and to the
development of his skills for the
improvement of his capacity for service to
himself and to his fellowmen.

(8) Every child has the right to protection against

exploitation, improper influences, hazards, and other
conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his
physical, mental, emotional, social and moral
(9) Every child has the right to live in a community
and a society that can offer him an environment free
from pernicious influences and conducive to the
promotion of his health and the cultivation of his
desirable traits and attributes.
(10) Every child has the right to the care, assistance,
and protection of the State, particularly when his
parents or guardians fail or are unable to provide him
with his fundamental needs for growth, development,
and improvement.

(11) Every child has the right to an efficient

and honest government that will deepen his
faith in democracy and inspire him with the
morality of the constituted authorities both in
their public and private lives.
(12) Every child has the right to grow up as a
free individual, in an atmosphere of peace,
understanding, tolerance, and universal
brotherhood, and with the determination to
contribute his share in the building of a
better world.

Art. 4. Responsibilities of the Child

(1) Strive to lead an upright and virtuous life in
accordance with the tenets of his religion, the
teachings of his elders and mentors, and the
biddings of a clean conscience;
(2) Love, respect and obey his parents, and
cooperate with them in the strengthening of the
(3) Extend to his brothers and sisters his love,
thoughtfulness, and helpfulness, and endeavor

(4) Exert his utmost to develop his potentialities

for service, particularly by undergoing a formal
education suited to his abilities, in order that he
may become an asset to himself and to society;
(5) Respect not only his elders but also the
customs and traditions of our people, the
memory of our heroes, the duly constituted
authorities, the laws of our country, and the
principles and institutions of democracy;

(6) Participate actively in civic affairs and in the

promotion of the general welfare, always
bearing in mind that it is the youth who will
eventually be called upon to discharge the
responsibility of leadership in shaping the
nation's future; and
(7) Help in the observance of individual human
rights, the strengthening of freedom
everywhere, the fostering of cooperation among
nations in the pursuit of their common
aspirations for programs and prosperity, and the
furtherance of world peace.

Republic Act No. 7610: Special

Protection of Children Against
Abuse, Exploitation and
Discrimination Act

Article 1 Section 3. Definition of Terms.

(a) "Children" refers to person below eighteen (18) years of age or
those over but are unable to fully take care of themselves or
protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or
discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or
(b) "Child abuse" refers to the maltreatment, whether habitual or
not, of the child which includes any of the following:

(1) Psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual

abuse and emotional maltreatment;

(2) Any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or

demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human

(3) Unreasonable deprivation of his basic needs for survival,

such as food and shelter; or

(4) Failure to immediately give medical treatment to an

injured child resulting in serious impairment of his growth and
development or in his permanent incapacity or death.

(c) "Circumstances which gravely threaten or endanger the

survival and normal development of children" include, but are not
limited to, the following;

(1) Being in a community where there is armed conflict or

being affected by armed conflict-related activities;

(2) Working under conditions hazardous to life, safety and

normal which unduly interfere with their normal development;

(3) Living in or fending for themselves in the streets of urban

or rural areas without the care of parents or a guardian or basic
services needed for a good quality of life;

(4) Being a member of a indigenous cultural community

and/or living under conditions of extreme poverty or in an
area which is underdeveloped and/or lacks or has
inadequate access to basic services needed for a good
quality of life;

(5) Being a victim of a man-made or natural disaster or

calamity; or

(6) Circumstances analogous to those above stated which

endanger the life, safety or normal development of

(d) "Comprehensive program against child

abuse, exploitation and discrimination" refers to
the coordinated program of services and facilities to
protected children against:

(1) Child Prostitution and other sexual abuse;

(2) Child trafficking;

(3) Obscene publications and indecent shows;

(4) Other acts of abuses; and

(5) Circumstances which threaten or endanger the

survival and normal development of children.

ARTICLE VIII Working Children

Section 12. Employment of Children. Children below
fifteen (15) years of age may be employed except:
(1) When a child works directly under the sole
responsibility of his parents or legal guardian and where
only members of the employer's family are employed:
Provided, however, That his employment neither
endangers his life, safety and health and morals, nor
impairs his normal development: Provided, further,
That the parent or legal guardian shall provide the said
minor child with the prescribed primary and/or
secondary education; or

(2) When a child's employment or participation in public &

entertainment or information through cinema, theater, radio or
television is essential: Provided, The employment contract
concluded by the child's parent or guardian, with the express
agreement of the child concerned, if possible, and the approval of
the Department of Labor and Employment: Provided, That the
following requirements in all instances are strictly complied with:
(a) The employer shall ensure the protection, health, safety
and morals of the child;
(b) the employer shall institute measures to prevent the child's
exploitation or discrimination taking into account the system
and level of remuneration, and the duration and arrangement
of working time; and;
(c) The employer shall formulate and implement, subject to
the approval and supervision of competent authorities, a
continuing program for training and skill acquisition of the

Addendum (from Department of Justice)

What is cruelty?
It is any word or action which debases, degrades or
demeans the dignity of a child as a human being.
Is discipline administered by a parent or legal
guardian on a child considered cruelty?
No, if it is reasonably administered and moderate in
degree and does not cause physical or psychological
What physical injury is considered as child abuse?
One that causes severe injury or serious bodily harm
to child, such as lacerations, fractured bones, burns
or internal injuries.

Addendum (from Department of Justice)

What psychological injury is considered as child abuse?
One that harms a child's psychological or intellectual
functions. This may be exhibited by severe anxiety,
depression, withdrawal or outward aggressive behavior or
a combination of said behaviors.
What is child neglect?
It is failure of a parent or legal guardian to provide, for
reasons other than poverty, adequate food, clothing,
shelter, basic education or medical care so as to seriously
endanger the physical, mental, social and emotional
growth and development of the child.

Addendum (from Department of Justice)

What is child sexual abuse?
It is the employment, use, persuasion, inducement,
enticement or coercion of child to engage in, or assist
another person to engage in sexual intercourse or
lasciviousness conduct or the molestation or prostitution
of, or the commission of incestuous acts, on, a child.
What is child exploitation?
It is hiring, employment, persuasion, inducement, or
coercion of child to perform in obscene exhibitions and
incident shows, whether live, on video or film, or to
pose or act as a model in obsence or pornographic
materials, or to sell or distribute said materials.

Addendum (from Department of Justice)

Where can I report child abuse cases?
You may report the matter to the:
Department of Social Welfare & Development or to the
Child Health and Intervention and Protective Service
(CHIPS) Tel. No. 734-4216
Anti-Child Abuse, Discrimination, Exploitation Division
(ACADED) National Bureau of Investigation Tel. Nos. 5256028/525-8231 loc. 403 & 444
Commission on Human Rights Child Rights Center Tel.
No. 927-4033 (Mon-Fri during office hours)
Philippine National Police Operation Center Tel. Nos.
712-8613/722-0540 & 724 8749 or nearest police station





While there will always be young people who continue to

experiment with sex, drugs and alcohol, todays generation of
young Filipinos seem to behave better compared to their
counterpart a decade ago.
Findings from the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality
Study (YAFS 4) released by the Demographic Research and
Development Foundation, Inc. (DRDF) and the University of the
Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) show that the levels of
current drug use, drinking alcohol and smoking among young
people aged 15-24 have dropped considerably. The declining
pattern is found in the practices of both young men and
women, as well as in younger and older youth.



The percentage of young people who are current smokers

declined from 20.9 percent in 2002 to 19.7 percent in 2013.

Eleven years ago, 41 percent of young Filipinos reported to be

current alcohol drinkers. Now, 37 percent of young adults are
engaged in this behavior.

But the most substantial decline is found in drug use. Only 4

percent admitted to have ever used drugs in 2013, compared to
almost 11 percent in 2002.

The National Capital Region has the highest level of youth

smokers (27 percent) while ARMM registered the lowest. Only 12
percent of young people in ARMM are smokers.



A total of 1,100 Filipino youth aged 15 to 24 years old were recorded

as HIV-positive from January to August 2014. In August alone, 146
cases of HIV in the same age bracket were recorded by the
Department of Health.
The Filipino youth are worse off than their counterparts in countries
such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Morocco, and Ghana, - countries, like
the Philippines, that are also classified as "lower-middle income" - a
study said.
In a survey conducted by Global Youth Well-being Index, which
measures a set of 40 indicators that address the overall national
environment, youth-specific outcomes, and youths' outlook and
satisfaction levels across six interconnected aspects of their lives
(domains): citizen participation, economic opportunity, education,
health, information and communications technology (ICT), and safety
and security. The Philippines placed 22nd among 30 countries
included in the rankings.



The Filipino youth, the study said, ranked weakest at citizen

participation (24th) and economic opportunity (24th). They also
ranked 23rd in Information and Communications Technology (ICT),
21st in health, 19th in education, and 18th in safety and security.

The literacy rate of youth in Philippines was reported at 98 percent in

2013 (NSO, 2013). The literacy rate of young Filipinos has improved
over the last 30 years, from 92% in 1980 to 98% in 2008.

A total of 5,825,425 children and youth are at risk: consisting of

3,000,000 children with disabilities, 246,011 street children; 64,000
victims of armed conflict; 2,400,000 who are exposed to hazardous
working conditions; 4,097 sexually abused; 11,317 in conflict with the
law; 3,694 abandoned and neglected, and 100,000 commercial sexually



Latest statistics of street and working children show that

there are approximately four million street and working
children and youth in the country which accounted for 20% of
the total number of employed persons.

Out of this 2.2 million children and youth, are forced to stop
schooling who are working in hazardous conditions.

These children are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

About 37 percent of the children work from5-8 hours a day,
while approximately nine percent worked for more than eight
hours and about one-fourth worked even in the evenings


Acero, Victorina D., et al. Child and Adolescent

Development. Manila: Rex Bookstore, 2008