The government should register all foundlings and other children who need special protection (CNSP) to ensure protection of their rights, Sen. Grace Poe said on Tuesday.
Poe made the push under her proposed Senate Bill 338 or the CNSP Birth Registration Act of 2016, which provides a framework for free birth registration for CNSPs that include: foundlings; sexually/physically-abused children; children in commercial sexual exploitation; children at risk and in conflict with the law; children in situations of armed conflict; working children or victims of child labor; children in various circumstances of disability; children directly affected by HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs); street children; children with substance abuse; mentally challenged children; abandoned children/children without primary caregiver; and displaced children/refugee children/stateless children.
“Birth registration is deemed a basic human right. The child has the right to have a name that is recognized legally aside from having a nationality,” he senator, a foundling, said
She cited that around 7.5 million Filipinos have no basic proof of identity and 10 percent of them were not registered at birth–a situation crucial to the recognition of a number of rights such as the right to seek employment and to access social security benefits.
“The poor are the most vulnerable when it comes to birth registration. Many of our countrymen in far-flung areas are uninformed and do not have the means to register their children at birth. Timely birth registration is a fundamental right of every child as expressly mandated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and enshrined in the Declaration of Human Rights on the right of an individual to his identity and nationality, treaties to which the Philippines is a signatory,” Poe, who was adopted by movie stars Ronald Allan “Fernando” Poe, Jr. and his wife Jesusa Sonora aka Susan Roces, said.
“Registration should be the primary act toward the recognition of an individual by the State, the onset of establishing his legal identity and the entitlement to the benefits and protection afforded by the State to its citizens,” she added.