MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) opened a child-friendly playroom inside Camp Crame, headquarters of PNP, to temporarily house minors who were sexually exploited.
Police Col. Maria Sheila Portento, chief of the PNP-Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division, said on Friday the playroom provides a conducive environment and comfort to the victims of online sexual exploitation.
"Yung mga nare-rescue nating mga bata kapag pina-process dito sa amin, wala kaming place para makapagpahinga sila o kaya makapaglaro, lalong nadadagdagan ang trauma ng mga bata,” Portento said.
"Kahit panandalian lang, makalimutan ng mga bata kung saan sila nanggaling o mga traumatic experience na naranasan nila," she added.
The child-friendly room, Portento said, will make the children feel more relaxed and at home.
“Hindi normal na police station ang pagdadalhan sa kanila. Itong playroom, mare-relax sila at the same time, maging at home," she said.
Two Fine Arts students from the University of the Philippines painted the playroom for free. Books, stuffed toys, dolls, toy cars were donated.
The police's Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) said the children are more able to speak up with this kind of environment.
"Kung tingin namin ay okay na sila at nakapag-adjust na dito sa environment na ganito, they freely speak up naman kung ano ang nasa sa loob nila," Portento said.
The children may bring one toy with them before they head to the shelter.
WCPC data showed that 372 abused victims have been rescued from June 2015 to August 2019, 73 of whom are less than 6-years-old while 109 are 7 to 12-years-old.