Aquino leads enactment ceremony for law protecting children in disasters
President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday led the ceremonial enactment of a new law providing for the protection of children during disasters.
Senate and House leaders, as well as Cabinet members, attended the event in Malacañang, which featured the signing of Republic Act No. 10821 or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act.
Seated beside Aquino as he signed the document were Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. Other witnesses were Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Executive Sec. Paquito Ochoa Jr., Assistant Majority Leader Monique Yazmin Lagdameo, Congresswoman Susan Yap, Congresswoman Lilibeth Ruth Villarica and Congressman Gavin Pancho.
The new law, which was supported by international organization Save the Children, seeks to monitor and protect minors in areas affected by disaster.
“Alam naman kasi natin, sa mga pagkakataong ito, kabataan ang pinaka-nanganganib ang kalagayan dahil talagang wala silang kalaban-laban,” Aquino said in his speech.
(We know that in times of disaster, children are most vulnerable because they are defenseless.)
He explained that while the provisions of the law are already being implemented by the government, there is a need to institutionalize the programs.
“Bukod dito, hangad din nating maging pundasyon at pamantayan ang batas na ito sa pangangalaga sa kabataang Pilipino, sinuman ang nakaupo sa puwesto,” he said.
(Aside from this, we aim that this law would be the foundation and standard in protecting the Filipino children, whoever wins the presidency.)
Aquino said it strengthens the government’s mandate to build child-friendly spaces and temporary shelters. It will also address the basic needs of children during calamities, such as food, clothing, education and medical services.
“Magsasagawa tayo ng child-responsive training program para sa lahat ng responders sa mga lugar na pinangyayarihan ng kalamidad. Sa paraang ito, ang pagtutok sa kaligtasan ng kabataan, magiging prayoridad na rin sa emergency response training ng ating NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) agency members,” he explained.
(We would conduct child-responsive training program for all the responders in the areas where calamities strike. In this way, ensuring the safety of the children will be a priority in emergency response training of the NDRRMC.)
Aquino was all smiles while posing for the camera with the children who were invited for the signing. RAM
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