Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rexlon “Rex” Gatchalian on Tuesday issued a cease-and-desist order against Gentle Hands Incorporated (GHI), an orphanage based in Quezon City.
When asked by Malacañan reporters, Gatchalian confirmed the said order against the orphanage due to alleged violations.
“We are referring to the account of Gentle Hands Incorporated in Quezon City. Yes, we did issue a cease-and-desist order on the following grounds. Number one, as early as last Friday, I personally got complaints about the living situation inside the orphanage. There are 149 children inside, “ Gatchalian said
The DSWD chief also said the place is “not ideal” with trash scattered and lying around ventilation was also an issue.
He said the orphanage may have exceeded its capacity. “It’s a privately run orphanage, it’s only rated for 80, but they have at 149 or 150 children.”
“And the worst part of it is we saw the fire exits and they were sealed or with grills and that was not acceptable to us. This is a fire trap,”
Gatchalian also said that there was an adult Caucasian male who went outside the said facility who was also roaming around without any detail or escort.
He questioned the presence of the “unsupervised” Caucasian in the facility and explained that the DSWD team had to be escorted by houseparents and social workers when the team entered the facility.
He also said the DSWD team “questioned” the staff, including the resident child psychologist.
Gatchalian assured that the children who will be affected by the said closure will be taken to DSWD facilities.
“The children will now be moved to our care facilities. You cannot keep them there,” he said adding that there seems to be “imminent danger.”