Iloilo City to house street children; Papa-kainin, papa-liguan

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A 4,000-square-meter vacant lot owned by the National Housing Authority may soon serve as the venue of a halfway house for street children and children who run afoul of the law in Iloilo City.

City mayor Jose Espinosa III said he is discussing with the Department of Social Welfare and Development the prospective construction of such a facility.

“We will ask the National Housing Authority if they can donate the lot to the city government,” Espinosa said (

He was referring to the NHA-owned lot along Benigno Aquino Ave. (Diversion Road) in the city’s Mandurriao district.

Espinosa said the halfway house will allow homeless children a place to sleep, take meals and bath, and avail of other social interventions.

He noted many of the street children and adults roaming in the metro area are not “returning Badjaos” but are city residents.

Badjaos are indigenous people who mostly hail from Mindanao and the Sulu Sea, the Moro Gulf, Davao Gulf and Illana Bay. Some of them end up begging in Iloilo City.

City social welfare office data showed that as of 2016, there are 300 street children and 165 children in conflict with the law in the metro.

In 2016 and 2017, it said it provided educational assistance and hot meals for 33 days to some 370 street children.

During this period, 74 street families availed of skills training and livelihood aid from the city.

Meanwhile, some 30 male CICLs aged 15 to 17 are presently housed in the Balay Dalayunan Home for the Boys in Barrio Obrero in Lapuz.

Balay-Dalayunan provides psycho-social interventions and classes to the boys in partnership with the Department of Education.

The center also provides legal assistance from the Public Attorney’s Office and medical checkups from the City Health Office.