“Sabi niya huwag kang sisigaw,” “Pinabayaan na kami ni mama” — these are just some of the desperate cries that ABS-CBN’s social welfare program Bantay Bata 163 hears from the children brought to them. But given the proper care and taken off the streets at an early age, the children face a more certain future.
One of them is Maynard, who was only 7 years old when Bantay Bata 163 rescued him from the streets. He became one of its scholars, finished school, and now works for Bantay Bata 163’s coin bank.
“Ginawa ko pong motivation yung nangyari po sa akin noon para maging success ako ngayon,” Maynard said.
Maynard is just one of the thousands of children that Bantay Bata 163 has cared for since its founding 1997 by the late Gina Lopez, who also founded the ABS-CBN Foundation.
Today, with help from various individual and corporate supporters, Bantay Bata 163 has evolved into more than just a hotline. It now gives children care through various ways, through its various pillars– Bantay Proteksyon, Bantay Edukasyon, Bantay Kalusugan, and Bantay Pamilya. The children are cared for in various ways, from protection from physical and sexual abuse, to housing, education, and to nutrition.
It also provides children and their families legal services and shelter to help them heal within safer and more caring environments.
On top of these, it gives trainings and seminars to help prevent child abuse, uphold the rights of children, and disseminate knowledge on laws, techniques, and systems in protecting children.
In fact, Bantay Bata 163 has taken the lead in emphasizing to schools through a series of conferences that they should impose positive discipline instead of corporal punishment.
With ABS-CBN celebrating its 65th year of being in the service of the Filipino, the public can expect Bantay Bata 163 to continue its mission, with even firmer resolve.