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‘Kwarto ni Neneng’: How police in Quirino province help shield young girls from violence

Joy, a 14-year-old girl, along with her sisters Anne, 12, and May, 11, used to sleep in the same room with their mother, brothers, and stepfather since they moved from their old home to where they are now. 

These children are victims of a broken home, but looking at their smiles, one can say that they are happy without any trace of regret, anxiety, or depression as a result of their parents’ separation.

They have older brothers, namely Mar (20) and Carl (19), who are both working in Baguio City, while Jerson (16) is a Grade 10 student.

Their parents separated when they were still in grade school. Their father, who is working abroad, has stopped coming home for reasons they didn’t know. Their mother found a new life partner in the person of their “Papa Dwin,” and they now have a 3-year-old brother.

Joy said their Papa Dwin is a good provider, but his earnings as a construction worker and farm helper are not sufficient to provide a decent home for them. Their mother Lily’s earnings as a laundry woman and as a farmhand are just enough to put food on the table.

“We were very happy and thankful when we learned that our family has been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the “Kwarto ni Neneng” project of the Diffun Police Station,” Joy said.

Philippine Information Agency Quirino and Diffun Municipal Police Station visit some beneficiaries of the ‘Kwarto ni Neneng’ project at Brgy. Gulac in the said municipality to see their present situation. (Photo: PIA)

Their living area, which used to be an all-purpose room where they also dined and slept, has been partitioned into three: two separate rooms for the girls and boys and a small receiving area. Dwin said he is also building three others near their kitchen for his stepdaughters and sons, and another for him and his partner, Lily.

Thelma Bicarme of PIA Quirino interviewes Judy Anne, one of the beneficiaries of the Kwarto ni Neneng project of PNP Quirino. (Photo: PIA)

Another beneficiary of the “Kwarto ni Neneng” project is 22-year-old Judy Anne of Brgy. San Isidro in Diffun town. Judy Anne is suffering from depression, which, according to her sister Grace, started when she got a failing grade in one of her subjects in college.

Judy Anne lives with her 57-year-old mother, a laundrywoman, and a 67-year-old bedridden father.

Her elder sister Grace, who works in a school canteen, and her elder brother, who now has his own family, also help provide for their daily needs.

Police Staff Sergeant Jessie Rosete Bunao, the leader of the “Kwarto ni Neneng” construction team, said his heart bleeds seeing how these helpless people struggle to survive while remaining unprotected from the cruelties of the world.

“We have to do something to prevent them from situations that aggravate worse conditions. As policemen, we have to wear many hats on top of our law enforcement tasks. We can be carpenters, medical care providers, security providers, social support providers, crime busters, and many more,” Bunao said as he shared that sometimes he has to do it all by himself, especially when his teammates are busy with their operations and no member of the beneficiaries’ families are capable of doing carpentry work.

He said he finds happiness in doing these, as he is fully aware that crime solutions are not just to bring the perpetrators to jail but also to understand the root cause of the crime and provide solutions to prevent the occurrence of similar crimes in the future.

During the 4th Quarter Provincial Peace and Order Council, Major Joel Guinobang, assistant chief of the Provincial Operation and Management Unit, reported that a total of 25 rape cases were recorded as of September 20, 2013, which is higher than the 17 cases posted in 2022.

Also, based on the previous interviews with the different chiefs of the six municipal police stations in the province, they said that some of the perpetrators of violence and abuse are related to the victims.

“Our interventions, so far, are in place. With the P200,000 assistance from Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, more “Kwarto ni Neneng” will be constructed in 2024,” Guinobang shared, adding that the amount has been equally divided among the six municipal police stations.

Chief WCPD, PCPT Daisylin Pinugu, provides updates regarding the P200,000 worth of materials for the Kwarto ni Neneng Project donated by the SILG Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos during the 4th Quarter Joint Meeting of PPOC, PADAC, PTF-ELCAC, and Team EMBRACE, Quirino PPO. (Photo: PIA)

In 2024, Guinobang said they will sustain the effectiveness and efficiency of the established PNP checkpoints province-wide, sustain drug-cleared and insurgency-free status, sustain intensified conduct of Patrol Beat System, police interventions, and continuous conduct of seminars and dialogues on RA 8353, and prevent rape cases in the province. (OTB/TCB/PIA-2, QUIRINO)

About the Author

Thelma Bicarme

Information Officer III

Region 2

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