Vice Presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. welcomed on Friday the signing into law of Republic Act 10821, also known as the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, which provides protection for children affected by calamities and man-made disasters.
With the effects of climate change increasingly becoming evident, such as the recent drought and hotter weather brought about by the El Niño weather phenomenon, including the expected heavy rains in the coming months, the signing into law of RA 10821 is timely, according to Marcos, who co-authored the bill in the Senate.
“We must never let our children experience again the untold physical and emotional sufferings of around 3 million children affected by super typhoon Yolanda. It is a comforting thought that we now have a law to shield other children from going through a similar ordeal,” said Marcos.
He noted that children are the most vulnerable victims in any calamity, whether natural or man-made, and that their exposure to such tragedies renders them completely helpless.
Marcos observed that some children who survive calamities also go through tormenting incidents of abuse, exploitation and neglect in evacuation centers where there is a lack of social protection, thereby adding torture to their already wounded dignity.
“The protection of the rights and interests of children should never be compromised in whatever situation they may be in,” Marcos stressed.
The new law calls for the creation of a comprehensive emergency program for children, to be implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) while also adopting best practices to protect children based on lessons learned from previous disasters.
On December 3, 2014, Marcos filed Senate Bill 2487, also known as “An Act Providing Emergency Relief and Protection for Children During Disaster, Calamity and other Emergency Situations.”
It was consolidated along with other similar bills into Senate Bill 3034, under Committee Report No. 338, submitted jointly by the Committees on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality; Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development; Finance; and Youth dated December 14, 2015.
On February 1 this year the Senate approved on third and final reading SB 3034 and was adopted three days later by the House of Representatives.