/ 15 May 2024

THE HOUSE Committee on Welfare of Children has approved a measure establishing legal framework for children’s right to protection and development.

The panel headed by BHW Party-list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co agreed to endorse for plenary deliberations House Bill 10159 or the proposed Magna Carta of Children.

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, one of the authors of the bill, described the MCC as a comprehensive children’s human rights law that seeks to advocate for all children in the Philippines and all Filipino children through the recognition, protection, fulfillment and promotion of their rights, especially those belonging to the marginalized sectors of society.

“The MCC establishes the Philippine government’s commitment to the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child after its ratification on 21 August 1990, to take all appropriate measures to respect and ensure the rights of children. It embodies the four basic principles of the UNCRC namely : 1) the children’s right to non-discrimination; 2) the best interest of children; 3) their right to life and development; and, 4) their right to participation in all matters that affect them,” the Speaker said.

Co said among the salient features of the MCC bill are establishment of the Philippine Commission on Children; designation of an Ombudsman for Children under the Commission on Human Rights; establishment of children’s associations at the local and national levels; establishment of the Philippine National Children’s Conference; and engagement of children in governance, including involvement in local councils, youth parliaments, and other decision-making platforms.

The MCC codifies existing legislation and harmonizes it with the provisions of the UNCRC to protect the rights of children.

HB 10159 is also authored by Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, Tingog Party-list Rep. Jude Acidre and Co.