KKFI joins Senate lobby vs. corporal punishment

by Flora Mae T. Tatoy & Fort O. Nicolas

 

Children in the Philippines, and anywhere in the world, for that matter, do not deserve to be punished physically by their parents or any person, albeit for the purpose of disciplining them.

This is the position of the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) as it joined other non-government organizations (NGOs) in lobbying for the passage of the House Bill 4907 or the Anti-Corporal Punishment and Positive Discipline in the Senate last November 23.

With KKFI were the Save the Children in the Philippines, Plan International and Philippine Children Ministry Network (PCMN).

“At 8 o’clock in the morning, we went to the Senate with two of our young stakeholders, Sarah Cleto and Melanie Balateco, to join the lobby day of the House Bill 4907 or the Anti-Corporal Punishment and Positive Discipline Bill to ask the senators to support the proposed legislation,” said Flora Mae Tatoy, an education officer of KKFI.

FlorTatoy
Flora Mae T. Tatoy

Surveys showed that Filipino parents often use physical punishment as a means to discipline their children. Hence, it is common for Filipino children to be hurt, humiliated, shouted at in front of people, labelled and denigrated.

According to the Save the Children, 85 percent of Filipino children are punished at home, while 82 percent admitted to being hit in different parts of their bodies.

The same study confirmed that corporal punishment has potential short- and long-term damages to children and, in the process, to the society.

Cleto said joining the lobby allowed her to understand more deeply the benefits children and minors like her will enjoy once the House Bill 4907 is passed into law.

“Ang bill na ito ay napakahalaga sa aming mga bata at kabataan dahil isinusulong din nito ang aming mga karapatan (This bill is very important to children and youth because it also promotes our rights),” she pointed out.

She said she intends to help disseminate the knowledge and information her learned from her Senate experience to children, youth, parents and teachers in order to fight the danger of corporal punishment.

Tatoy, meanwhile, said joining the lobby helped her gain more knowledge on children’s rights. She said she plans to design activities and incorporate these to KKFI’s Family Development Session (FDS) projects.

“It’s not our purpose to threaten the family but to give them an idea on how to discipline their child from a Christian perspective and to promote Parents-Child Relationship,” she concluded.

 

KKFI Dormitory: A Win-Win Situation

By Ma. Mercedes C. Co
 
I was born in Manila 19 years ago but I was raised by my parents, who are both engineers, in Borongan, Eastern Samar. I have four siblings and I am the second to the last, the second of two daughters. I took up Accountancy and I am the first female in the family to do so.
 
For someone who lived most of her life in Eastern Samar, Manila is a different universe. At least, that was my impression when I first came to Manila to study. It was a total culture shock. The city is noisy, dusty, and full of people.
 mercedes-co
Finding a dormitory that won’t trigger my claustrophobia was a challenge. But, lo and behold, we found the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI).
 
The best thing about the room of KKFI is that they’re spacious. A normal room has four single beds and eight lockers. They have an open grass lawn that I can always go to whenever the outside world suffocates me.
 
They set up special rooms for students – a library for the ones who want to study, and a hub for those who want to relax.
 
And just when I though dormitories were solely profit-generating buildings, I found out that our payments go to social works that benefit the poor of the city. I used to wonder why there was a “Foundation” on the name “KKFI.” Now I know.
 
Things started clearing out when I saw their annual reports summarizing their activities, which focused on helping the underprivileged through social outreach, alternative learning system courses, and partnering with TESDA to conduct vocational courses.
 
Informed now, I see to it that I pay for my dorm room ahead of the deadline. Hungry children can’t wait that long for their food, can they?
 
And it was a healthy win-win situation for after four years in KKFI’s care, I graduated cum laude from PUP-Manila’s Accountancy program In April 2016.
 
While my siblings and I have been constant academic achievers from elementary until college, I was the first to achieve a Latin honor. And KKFI greatly contributed to that success a lot. Thanks, KKFI!
Note: Mercedes Co checked out of the KKFI dormitory after passing the Licensure examination on Accountancy taken last October 2016.

VOWING TO HELP HER FAMILY

by Glenda B. Gutierrez

 

“We have sunk deep in debts,” narrates Toni Rose C. Fuentes, 17.

Thoni Rose, as she preferred her name to be spelled, is one of the out-of-school youth in Barangay 109, Tondo, Manila. She stopped schooling due to financial problems. She was then about to enter the third level of high school at the Antonio J. Villegas Vocational High School.

Though her father, Antonio, has a steady job as a butcher, her mother, Julie, has a penchant for material things. The latter would borrow from loan sharks. This has been a cycle of borrowing and payments. She would even borrow to pay previous loans.

“Life had been better when there were just two of us children,” relates Thoni Rose. “But there were three more and our mother’s loans became too big to manage. “

Their grandfather, who also lives with them, added to the family expenses. Their eldest, Jhenny Rose, is a high school graduate but has also stopped schooling and just laze at home.

Thoni Rose took advantage of the opportunity shared by a friend to enroll in the Alternative Learning System of the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) in partnership with Barangay 109. She said free classes at the Barangay Hall has eased their family‘s financial burden. Added bonuses are free snacks and no uniform/shoe requirements.

She thanks the Lord God for answering her prayers. She enrolled at the Bookkeeping course of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) at the Don Bosco TVET Center in Tondo, Manila.

Indeed, Thoni Rose considers the ALS program a blessing. She is now a high graduate with a chance to better their lives. She vows to help her mother financially when she is able.

She thanks KKFI for guiding and teaching her. Indeed, KKFI is indeed a blessing to OSYs like her.

MAKING WEAKNESSES INTO STRENGTHS

by Glenda B. Gutierrez

 

“There are people who look down on me. Therefore, I made my weaknesses into my strength. ” says Algin Tan, 17.

Gin, as he is fondly called is gay. He experienced discrimination due to his gender preference. He knew when he was in grade school that he had a female heart in a man’s body. But he says his family especially his parents supports him. Outwardly, he looks happy but he has some insecurities.

He stopped his schooling due to an unexplainable illness. He had skin sores that lasted five months. Due to embarrassment, he went to Nueva Ecija, a province north of Manila, to recuperate. He was in fourth level of high school then at the San Roque National High School in Navotas, a city north of Manila.

Their family also experienced financial lack. His father, Avelino, is a laborer and his mother, Ma. Gina, is a “kasambahay” (housekeeper.) Gin has a sister who is in second level of college.

He learned about the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program of the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) from his aunt.

“I really want to continue my studies so I enrolled in ALS,” says Gin. “I want to get a good paying job so I can help my family,” he added.

Surrendering never entered his mind. He is set on his goal to pass the Accreditation and Equivalency (a & e) examination.

When asked what he did to pass. He answered “I prayed and encouraged myself I could do it.”

“I feel blessed and proud to be me,” exclaimed Gin. “I am ready to achieve my dreams. My passing is a sign for me to achieve my dreams.

Indeed, he did it. He passed the A & E examination and has enrolled in a university to take up BS Accountancy. People may looked down on him but he never made it an obstacle in achieving his dreams. He made his weaknesses into strengths.