ABS-CBN Foundation International’s flagship program, Bantay Bata (Child Watch)
, caravanned through California with stops at Redwood City, Vallejo, Los Angeles and two Southern California hospitals. The caravan was led by executive director Tina Monzon- Palma, who met with Filipino- American organizations around the state.
ABS-CBN Foundation International president Robbie Fabian hosted the kickoff at the TFC Studios in Redwood City. “Bantay Bata has attracted all sorts of donors from all over the country, like one of our lead donors, 12- year-old Hannah of Virginia,” shared Fabian. “The plight of children is one that speaks to every family because as Hannah stated, ‘no Filipino child should die of hunger.’”
The Filipino-American communities in Vallejo, Los Angeles and Southern California hospitals also hosted the fundraiser, bringing celebrity supporters Becca Godinez, Bernardo Bernardo and Martin Nievera.
Bantay Bata is the biggest advocate for poor children and their families in the Philippines.
In 2010, its Bantay Bata 163 hotline received an average of 43 rescue calls a day. Approximately 6,000 children needed emergency medical attention, rescue or immediate home visit. The program also provided scholarships, family counseling and therapy, including legal intervention, to about 328 families in crisis.
Over the years, child abuse prevention campaigns, seminars and trainings have proven to reduce the incidence of child physical abuse. These workshops on child and family welfare and laws have increased community advocacy for poor children and their families and have been brought to many cities, including Cebu, Mandaue, Pangasinan, Manila, Camarines Norte and Leyte.