URBANISSIMO: GMA network and Davao City partner against child abuse

Abused children in Davao City now have a voice with the Davao City Government’s Kean Gabriel Hotline. A brainchild of Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte in memory of Kean Gabriel Agustin, a four-year-old child who dies of abuse at the hands of his guardian last August 2016, the hotline aims to strengthen the local government’s fight against child abuse.

“Kean’s tragic death betrayed the urgent need to confront the violence experienced by hapless children in their homes – from the hands of the very people who are supposed to provide them with care and love,” said Mayor Sara. “We were guided by the objective to provide immediate help to children who are victims of abuse and neglect from their own parents or guardians. The hotline 0918-818-4444 operates 24/7 and the center is run by social workers, lawyers, police officers, and other professionals who are trained to conduct the most needed interventions, including rescue.”

Understanding the need to raise awareness of the hotline, GMA Network partnered up with the City Government of Davao to launch a massive information drive for the hotline, the agreement of which was signed  and attended to by GMA Network’s top executives and Mayor Sara.

“We congratulate Mayor Inday Sara for creating the Kean Gabriel Hotline and for paving the way for the public to be more vigilant against child neglect and abuse,” said GMA Regional TV Department Officer-in-Charge Oliver Amoroso. “We are also honored that the Mayor chose GMA Davao as the first local station to have this partnership. GMA fully supports any initiative that protects and upholds the rights of a child,” he added.

“Through this partnership, we aim to help the City Government of Davao communicate to the public the importance of the community’s involvement in protecting our children,” shares GMA Davao Station Manager Mariles Puentevella. “All of us are responsible in ensuring that our children grow up in an environment that is conducive to their well being.”

From October to November last year, the Kean Gabriel Hotline received 24 reports of child abuse – of which, 14 children were rescued. In December, 5 children were rescued. In January, seven; February, three; five in March and four in April. Last month, 7 children were rescued and last June, 13 chidren have been rescued from 35 phone calls.