MANILA — Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Monday filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the closure of Gentle Hands Inc. orphanage in Quezon City last May 23 due to the cease and desist order issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The inquiry seeks to review "current policies on orphanages and child residential care facilities in the Philippines," said Hontiveros, chairperson of Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality.
Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian earlier said his agency ordered the closure of the orphanage due to supposed lapses that could have been a "recipe for disaster."
But Hontiveros said DSWD needed to explain further its action.
"While the safety and adequacy of living standards are important concerns, it is also important to determine whether or not the correct processes were followed in the removal of the children from a child care facility... and whether or not these processes are informed by the best interest of the child doctrine," she said in the resolution.
Gentle Hands executive director Charity Heppner-Graff had denied that the orphanage was operating above its capacity and said it had "the ratio that is required for caregivers to children."