The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) kicked off celebration of National Children’s Month by announcing that it is targeting one million whistles by December to dramatize the NCM’s theme “Bata: Iligtas sa Droga” (Children: Save Them from Drugs).
CWC Executive Director Mitch Cajayon-Uy said activities aligned with this year’s theme include the launching of the “Pito, Bata, Pito! A Call 4 Help Campaign (C4H),” an initiative of the CWC in partnership with the Rotary Club of Pasay-Cyber City.
“The whistle or pito symbolizes the children’s call for support, help and immediate response in times of threat or danger brought by violence against children [VAC] or any emergency situation. Even children with difficulties can use it easily as a means of communication when feeling threatened or harmed. It can give them security and comfort having one,” Uy explained.
She said the whistle and C4H seeks to give children a voice from falling victim to illegal drugs, all forms of violence and exploitation.
“It is okay to blow their ‘whistles’ or pito whenever they feel in danger and unsafe,” she added.
The council saw a need to launch the campaign for children to enable them to protect themselves because of a recent increase in the number of children being victimized especially by the illegal-drug trade.
The campaign will gather donations (monetary or in kind) for whistles until the end of 2017 as the CWC is aiming for one million whistles that will be given to children across the nation by the Christmas season.
A Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities will also be conducted annually in recognition of towns and cities that garner the highest rating in implementation of plans, programs and policies on child-friendly projects in various sectors such as education, health and resource mobilization.
The campaign is also a strategy to monitor implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the local level, Uy said.
She added that a Dikit-a-Sticker Campaign on road safety and anti-illegal drugs will also be done with transport groups and a Kids Festival will also be conducted by mid-November to raise the awareness of children on relevant issues affecting them.
The CWC’s regional counterparts will also conduct their own NCM celebration for the whole month of November, Templa said.
Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Institutional Development Group, during the launch at the San Francisco High School in Quezon City, said the celebration is in support of the Duterte administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs.
Republic Act 10661, she added, declares every November as National Children’s Month (NCM) with the CWC, the DSWD and the National Youth Commission (NYC) as lead agencies.
Templa said the NCM also commemorates the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989.