The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) condemns the emotional abuse and humiliation bestowed on a six-year-old child contestant, during the March 12, 2011 episode of the Willing Willie show aired on TV 5.
The sequence shows the boy gyrating in a distasteful manner with the audience, including the host (Willie Revillame), manifesting no evidence of concern or alarm for the child. This incident is clearly a violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act and a blatant manifestation of child abuse. The term “child abuse” includes the following acts: “psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment,” and “any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of the child as a human being.”
Putting pressure on children to do acts such as mimicking adult sexy dances, in exchange for a certain amount of money, and at the expense of being laughed at and ridiculed by hundreds of people, clearly traumatizes the child. This is a clear form of child abuse and will not be tolerated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The Department has already communicated to ABC Development Communication Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan asking that children should not be allowed to appear in TV shows like Willing Willie, especially those capitalizing on poverty as a source of immediate entertainment. In the formal communication with Mr. Pangilinan, the Department has also rebuked the insensitive actions and remarks of Mr. Revillame.
The DSWD will look for the family, determine the effect/impact on the child and from here determine if necessary counseling and/or stress debriefing should be given to the child and his parents to prevent further trauma and abuse, especially with the media hype triggered by this incident. ### (DSWD – Social Marketing Service) March 28, 2011