o Scope: It shall apply to persons below twenty-one years of age except those emancipated in accordance with law. “Child” or “minor” or “youth” as used in this Code, shall refer to such persons.
o Rights of the Child. – All children shall be entitled to the rights herein set forth without distinction as to legitimacy or illegitimacy, sex, social status, religion, political antecedents, and other factors.
(1) Every child is endowed with the dignity and worth of a human being from the moment of his conception, as generally accepted in medical parlance, and has, therefore, the right to be born well.
(2) Every child has the right to a wholesome family life that will provide him with love, care and understanding, guidance and counseling, and moral and material security.
The dependent or abandoned child shall be provided with the nearest substitute for a home.
(3) Every child has the right to a well-rounded development of his personality to the end that he may become a happy, useful and active member of society.
The gifted child shall be given opportunity and encouragement to develop his special talents.
The emotionally disturbed or socially maladjusted child shall be treated with sympathy and understanding, and shall be entitled to treatment and competent care.
The physically or mentally handicapped child shall be given the treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.
(4) Every child has the right to a balanced diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter, proper medical attention, and all the basic physical requirements of a healthy and vigorous life.
(5) Every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitude for the enrichment and the strengthening of his character.
(6) Every child has the right to an education commensurate with his abilities and to the development of his skills for the improvement of his capacity for service to himself and to his fellowmen.
(7) Every child has the right to full opportunities for safe and wholesome recreation and activities, individual as well as social, for the wholesome use of his leisure hours.
(8) Every child has the right to protection against exploitation, improper influences, hazards, and other conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his physical, mental, emotional, social and moral development.
(9) Every child has the right to live in a community and a society that can offer him an environment free from pernicious influences and conducive to the promotion of his health and the cultivation of his desirable traits and attributes.
(10) Every child has the right to the care, assistance, and protection of the State, particularly when his parents or guardians fail or are unable to provide him with his fundamental needs for growth, development, and improvement.
(11) Every child has the right to an efficient and honest government that will deepen his faith in democracy and inspire him with the morality of the constituted authorities both in their public and private lives.
(12) Every child has the right to grow up as a free individual, in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, tolerance, and universal brotherhood, and with the determination to contribute his share in the building of a better world
o Commencement of Civil Personality. – The civil personality of the child shall commence from the time of his conception, for all purposes favorable to him, subject to the requirements of Article 41 of the Civil Code.
o “Parents” as here used shall include the guardian and the head of the institution or foster home which has custody of the child
Working Children
o Employment of Children Below Sixteen Years. – may be employed to perform light work which is not harmful to their safety, health or normal development and which is not prejudicial to their studies.
o The provisions of the Labor Code relating to employable age and conditions of employment of children are hereby adopted as part of this Code insofar as not inconsistent herewith.

o Duty of Employer to Submit Report. to the Department of Labor a report of all children employed by him.

o Register of Children. – Every employer in any commercial, industrial or agricultural establishment or enterprise shall keep:
1. A register of all children employed by him, indicating the dates of their birth;
o Education of Children Employed as Domestics. – If a domestic is under sixteen years of age, the head of the family shall give him an opportunity to complete at least elementary education as required under Article 71. The cost of such education shall be a part of the domestic’s compensation unless there is a stipulation to the contrary.
o A dependent child is one who is without a parent, guardian or custodian; or one whose parents, guardian or other custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of his care and custody; and is dependent upon the public for support.

o An abandoned child is one who has no proper parental care or guardianship, or whose parents or guardians have deserted him for a period of at least six continuous months.

o A neglected child is one whose basic needs have been deliberately unattended or inadequately attended. Neglect may occur in two ways:
(a) There is a physical neglect when the child is malnourished, ill clad and without proper shelter.
(b) A child is unattended when left by himself without provisions for his needs and/or without proper supervision.
(c) Emotional neglect exists: when children are maltreated, raped or seduced; when children are exploited, overworked or made to work under conditions not conducive to good health; or are made to beg in the streets or public places, or when children are in moral danger, or exposed to gambling, prostitution and other vices.

o Commitment or surrender of a child is the legal act of entrusting a child to the care of the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual.
(a) Involuntary commitment,.
(b) Voluntary commitment
o Mentally Retarded Children. – Mentally retarded children are (1) socially incompetent, that is, socially inadequate and occupationally incompetent and unable to manage their own affairs; (2) mentally subnormal; (3) retarded intellectually from birth or early age; (4) retarded at maturity; (5) mentally deficient as a result of constitutional origin, through hereditary or disease, and (6) essentially incurable.
o General Penalty. – Violations of any provisions of this Code for which no penalty is specifically provided shall be punished by imprisonment not exceeding one month or a fine not exceeding two hundred pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court, unless a higher penalty is provided for in the Revised Penal Code or special laws.
NOTE: It is important to note that before Presidential Decree 603 was amended to Republic Act 9344 some provisions of the PD 603 were amended. PD 12101 amended some of the provisions of PD No. 603 because it was deficient or ambiguous.

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