Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
18 May 2016
President Benigno S. Aquino III signed into law the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act.
Known as the Republic Act (R.A.) 10821, the new law will cater to the protection of every Filipino child affected by disasters. It will be a national policy of the country that will safeguard the particular needs of children before, during, and after crisis through several ways. These include a comprehensive emergency program to support children’s immediate recovery and heightened surveillance against child trafficking, and other violence against children in the aftermath of disasters and calamities.
Moreover, the law will call for an increased participation of children in disaster risk reduction (DRR) planning and post-disaster needs assessments, and less disruption of education activities with the reduced use of schools as evacuation centers and the proper use of temporary learning spaces.
In his speech, President Aquino expressed his contentment over the passage of R.A. 10821, saying that this will give way to a more secure environment for children. He added that this serves as a basis and a strong foundation for upcoming laws for the further protection and safety of Filipino children across the Philippines.
“Lahat naman po ng ito, iisa ang pinupunto: kapanatagan. Kapag may parating na kalamidad, sakuna, o ‘di inaasahang pangyayari, ay panatag ang loob, dahil alam nilang nariyan ang gobyerno, nakatutok sa buhay at kapakanan ng kanilang mga anak, at ng kabataang Pilipino,” the President said.
Likewise, he lauded the people behind the law, particularly Tarlac 2nd District Congresswoman Susan Yap and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who both served as the principal authors of the bill. He also praised the non-government organization, Save the Children Philippines, because of its invaluable support in augmenting the well being of Filipino children for 30 years.
He then conveyed his message of hope that the ‘Daang Matuwid’ reforms which he started will continue on even in the next generation, saying, “tunay nating maipapamana sa susunod na henerasyon ang isang Pilipinas na di hamak na mas maganda kaysa sa ating dinatnan, at nagawa natin ito dahil nagtulungan tayo.”
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