Implement emergency relief, protection program for children, government urged
MANILA, Philippines — A child rights organization pushed for the adoption and implementation of the Comprehensive Emergency Program for Children (CEPC), saying this could protect kids during emergencies and calamities.
Save the Children Philippines said it has been years since the country enacted Republic Act No. 10821, otherwise known as the Children’s Emergency Relief Protection Act, but its implementation and localization have yet to be adopted in local government units (LGUs) nationwide.
“Children are the most vulnerable during disasters. The multidimensional stress they experience from difficult situations during emergencies and calamities affects their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being,” said Alberto Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines, in a statement on Saturday.
“If we have emergency programs for children in place across LGUs, necessary support can be provided to children and affected people. They will also have lesser chances of being exposed to dangers such as abuse, harassment, trafficking, neglect, and exploitation,” Muyot added.
Under RA 10821, CEPC must be implemented immediately after the declaration of a national or local state of calamity or occurrence of any other emergency situation.
The following are also required under RA 10821:
- Establishment and identification of safe locations as evacuation centers for children and families
- Immediate delivery of basic necessities and services such as food, water, medicine, clothing, hygiene kits among others
- Ensure safety and security of affected children with the help of the combined forces of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Social Welfare and Development, as well as Department of Interior and Local Government
- LGUs shall prioritize the establishment and functionality of violence against women and children desks
- Provision of health, medical, and nutritional needs of children in the areas declared under state of calamity
- Ensure prompt resumption of educational services for all children