Save the Children Philippines urges LGUs to keep protecting children during climate emergency

Save the Children Philippines has urged local government units (LGUs) to prepare for emergency response as the onset of the typhoon season is expected to compound the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic particularly in communities with limited budget and weak health systems.

The child rights organization, through its Alert, Accountable, and Resilient Communities (A2RC) project, provides technical support to the government agencies in improving its risk reduction and response mechanism to build resilience of communities.

It also implements a two-year program funded by the European Union (EU) in typhoon-stricken municipalities of Sulat and Dolores to protect deprived and marginalized children, pregnant, and lactating mothers from emergencies in partnership with Caritas-Borongan and the Provincial Government of Eastern Samar.

Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines, said children’s rights to survival, education, and protection from abuse and exploitation are at stake during emergencies such as natural disasters, conflicts, and health crises.

“Children face the harsh impact of natural calamities and other emergencies as they highly depend on adults for protection and developmental needs,” said Muyot adding that it is critical to empower parents, caregivers, and community leaders in providing life-saving support and care to protect a generation of children in these trying times.

Save the Children Philippines has advocated the enactment of Republic Act 10821, or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act that created the Comprehensive Emergency Program for Children (CEPC). The law mandates LGUs to ensure all children, pregnant, and lactating women are protected, and their needs are provided for before, during, and after disasters and other emergency situations.

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Save the Children also partners with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in providing policy support in localizing the CEPC.

Marlon Matuguina, Program Manager for Risk Reduction and Resilience in Education and Governance of Save the Children Philippines, said the organization provides technical support to the DILG and other government agencies to integrate health hazards and emergencies in the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management (BDRRM).

He said the CSS project also conducts children’s consultation on climate change to ensure children’s views are integrated in the DRRM programs in their communities.

The Philippines ranks second in the Global Climate Change Risk Report for 2020 of the Germanwatch, based on exposure and vulnerabilities to climate-related risks.

Save the Children has launched the #RedAlert campaign to raise awareness on the need to act on climate emergency that threatens children, including the Philippines and countries in the Asia Pacific region.