Bill seeks to protect children during emergencies
Bill seeks to protect children during emergencies
Press Release: Save the Children, Plan International, and World Vision rally together in support of a bill promoting children's welfare in emergencies

This is a press release from Save the Children Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines – Three of the country’s largest child rights organizations, Save the Children, Plan International, and World Vision, unite to push passage of House Bill 5062 or the “Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act,” which calls for a comprehensive plan to be put in place to protect the rights of children in disasters and emergencies.

The bill was introduced by Representative Susan Yap (Tarlac, 2nd District) based on findings of the 3 organizations working with children in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Partnering with UNICEF, they found a great need for official and systematic effort that allows children to express their views and concerns post-typhoon.

The report they produced in the immediate aftermath, in consultation with child survivors, entitled “After Yolanda: What Children Think, Need and Recommend” was presented to Members of Congress, including Rep. Susan Yap, and members of the House Child Welfare Committee. Some of the issues raised by children in the report included lack of access to information, psycho-social distress, preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction and livelihood recovery.

House Bill 5062, once enacted into law, would require a Comprehensive Emergency Program for children vulnerable to and affected by calamities. It calls for a structural approach to ensuring that children are well prepared, kept safe and their voices heard in disasters and emergencies. 

“This law is essential to ensure that children are cared for during future emergencies in the Philippines,” stated Save the Children’s Country Director, Ned Olney. “Many interventions worked well for children after Yolanda, but there were gaps.” “This bill ensures that we learn from our experience to mitigate the impact of future emergencies on children,” Olney added.

“Children and young people are deeply affected when they live through an emergency, especially one of the scale of Yolanda. A major disaster like this is a life changing event and can impact on the future of an entire generation,” said Plan Country Director Carin van der Hor. “We want to make sure we are not just addressing concerns but also institutionalizing learnings and successes.” 

“We hope all citizens that care about Filipino children and want to see them survive and thrive in the Philippines will come out and support the continued development and eventual passage of this bill,” said Josaias dela Cruz Executive Director of World Vision.

The three child-focused NGOs also urge other legislators from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and local government units to support HB 5062 for its passage into law within the 16th Congress. —





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