Law to protect children affected by calamities signed

[Photo from http://www.gov.ph]

A law intended to uphold the welfare of the children affected by calamities was finally enacted yesterday.

The consolidation of the Senate Bill 3034 and House Bill 5285 formed the Republic Act 10821 or the Children Emergency Relief and Protection Act and was signed by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III yesterday, May 18.

In his speech, President Aquino said the law mandates the provision of comprehensive relief and protection programs children during the natural or man-made disasters.

“Layunin ng batas na ito na magbuo ng isang komprehensibo at malawakang plano para siguruhing mapapangalagaan ang kapakanan ng kabataang Pilipinong apektado ng kalamidad, sakuna, at ng iba pang di inaasahang mga pangyayari,” said Aquino.

(The law aims to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the welfare of the Filipino children affected by calamities and disasters and other untoward circumstances.)

“Sa mga pagkakataong ito, kabataan ang pinakananganganib ang kalagayan dahil talagang wala silang kalaban-laban,” he added.

(We know that in this times, the children are the most vulnerable.)

Under the law, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is tasked to lay down a comprehensive emergency program that will address the needs such as food, clothing,educational and medical assistance, protect the children and facilitate the rehabilitation of the children by establishing child-friendly spaces, transitional shelters and evacuation centers other than schools.

Aquino said it will also strengthen the calamity response by initiating a child-responsive training program for the responders and rescue volunteers in times of distress.

“Sa paraang ito, ang pagtutok sa kaligtasan ng kabataan, magiging prayoridad na rin sa emergency response training ng ating NDRRMC (National Risk Reduction and Management Council) agency members,” he said.

(In this way, the safety of the children will be included in the priorities of the emergency response training ng mga myembro ng ating NDRRMC.)

National Youth Commission (NYC) Davao Area Coordinator Julius Gutierrez told 105.9 Balita FM that the law coincided with their efforts to include the youth’s participation in the local and national disaster risk reduction and management council especially in the city.

“Actually the law is timely because last year, we have the youth NDRRMC. With this Republic Act, we will intensify and ask the participation of the youth sector in local and national NDRRMC down to the baranggay level because the minors in baranggays are the most affected. They should be the one we protect and save first,” he said.

Gutierrez said that with the law, the government can immediately respond to the needs of the children especially those caught in chaos due to armed conflicts.

| Published in 105.9 Balita FM Facebook page: Law to protect children affected by calamities signed, May 19, 2016

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