Save the Children Philippines urges the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), to prioritize the development and roll-out of the Comprehensive Emergency Program for Children (CEPC) across all local government units as children face the impacts of Super Typhoon Egay (international name: Doksuri) and the impending tropical cyclone Falcon.
The Republic Act No. 10821 or the “Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act” passed in 2016 requires LGUs to formulate the CEPC that will ensure that children, and pregnant and lactating mothers are well protected before, during, and after disasters.
“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 Save the Children Philippines CEO, Atty. Alberto Muyot.
Based on assessment, Save the Children Philippines estimates that ST Egay has already affected around 60,000 children and may continue to increase as more families are seen to be impacted with the possible arrival of 12 more tropical cyclones, including #FalconPH, in the second half of 2023.
“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,” said Muyot.
Save the Children Philippines was the lead child rights organization in advocating for the enactment of R.A. 10821. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., also supported the “Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act” while he was a still a Senator in the 16th Congress.
However, seven years have passed since the Philippine Government enacted R.A. 10821 but the adoption, localization, and implementation of the CEPC have yet to be put in place across hundreds of LGUs
The Comprehensive Emergency Program for Children (CEPC) stipulates that local government units should provide the following to safeguard the interests of children and affected people before, during, and after emergencies:
- Safe, inclusive, child-friendly, gender-sensitive, and responsive evacuation centers are established
- Child and women-friendly transitional shelters, and a referral mechanism for orphaned, unaccompanied, and separated children are established
- Delivery of immediate basic necessities and services are ensured
- Measures to ensure safety and security of affected children are strengthen
- Health, medical, and nutritional services are delivered
- Plan of action for prompt resumption of educational services for children is implemented
- Child-friendly spaces in evacuation centers and transitional sites are established, and
- Promotion of children’s rights during disaster and emergency situations are upheld, respected, and protected