The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) is committed to creating and providing a safe and supportive environment for everybody in football, especially for children.
Through this, the PFF Board of Governors approved via correspondence, the adoption of the PFF Child Safeguarding Program last 16 July 2021 to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect children and other vulnerable persons, who participate in all levels of football activities, from any harm or abuse.
The adoption of the PFF Child Safeguarding Program is in line with the FIFA’s Child Safeguarding Program which was launched July 2019 to provide practical guidance and support to Member Associations (MAs) on safeguarding measures and to address any shortcomings to help prevent any risk of harm to children in football and appropriately respond if concerns arise.
The PFF Child Safeguarding Program is also guided by the FIFA, AFC, and PFF statutes and abides by the FIFA’s five principles on safeguarding:
- Always acting in the best interests of children
- Respecting and promoting children’s rights in football
- Applying principles and practices in this toolkit to all children without discrimination of any kind
- Safeguarding children is everybody’s responsibility, regardless of the country we are from or the role we hold in football
- Defining specific roles and responsibilities within Member Associations, and reporting and appropriately dealing with all concerns.
As part of its mandate, PFF has rolled out the Child Safeguarding Program in the general education program for coaches, referees, managers, and other stakeholders beginning this year to embed safeguarding measures across football in the country.
“Most children do not have the confidence to speak out or complain, regardless of the need and background of the child,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta, Jr. “The implementation of the Child Safeguarding Program will ensure that everyone has the right to play football in a safe environment.”
“Let us be open to listen to the children and keep in mind that our priority is to put their rights and safety first,” added PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. “Setting in place a clear safeguarding policy will not only protect the children but everybody in the football community.”
To further support the program, PFF has appointed Board of Governors Female Member and Quezon-Batangas RFA general secretary Ms. Lalaine Sarmiento and PFF Head of International Relations Ms. Maja Año as the PFF National Safeguarding Officers. They are also tasked to work with the PFF Child Safeguarding Working Group to ensure that the policies are in place to safeguard children in football.
“Everyone in football has the duty to make sure activities are delivered as safely as possible,” said Sarmiento. “Failure to safeguard not only means hurting or endangering an individual but it also undermines the integrity of the game.”
“We understand how important it is to protect children as they enjoy playing football,” continued Año. “As we are guided by the FIFA, AFC, and PFF statutes, we must ensure that children are safe from any types of physical, sexual and emotional harm, neglect, and bullying.”
The PFF Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct for both children are adults are readily available below:
- PFF Child Safeguarding Policy
- PFF Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct for children
- PFF Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct for adults
For more information on the PFF Child Safeguarding Program, please send inquiries to: [email protected]