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Establishing RCPWG, ensuring child protection in times of disasters, emergencies

The Philippines, due to its geographic location, is vulnerable to calamities like typhoons and earthquakes.
 
In the previous months this 2022, typhoons and an earthquake were experienced in the region, devastating hundreds of people including children.
 
During calamities and emergencies, social workers say that children may feel distress and even traumatized.
 
But unfortunately, occupied with the “adult stuff,” people have to deal with after disasters, these issues of children are not attended to with the appropriate intervention and care.
 
As a response, the Council for the Welfare of Children established a Child Protection Working Group (CPWG) which will provide strategic direction and leadership to ensure that child protection is addressed as priority concern during emergencies, may it be human-induced or natural disasters.
 
In the Ilocos, a Regional CPWG will be postulated to serve as one of the technical working groups of the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC).
 
According to Mark Alison Follosco, CWC regional coordinator in the region, the RCPWG will be put up specifically in order to converge partners to respond to child protection issues during and after emergencies; to advocate for support and assistance from authorities and humanitarian organizations.
 
“Kailangan natin masiguro na matutukan ‘yong mga bata kapag may mga kalamidad gaya na lamang ng mga bata sa evacuation centers at matugunan natin ang kanilang mga pangangailangan,” Follosco said.
 
The RCPWG will also be tasked to facilitate the development and coordination of child protection strategies and responses.
 
It will be chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, being the lead agency of the RSCWC, and will be composed of member-agencies such as the Regional Council for the Welfare of Children, Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee, Philippine National Police, Commission on Human Rights, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Office of Civil Defense.
 
Follosco said that the RCPWG is just waiting for its term of reference to be finalized and approved before it will be launched for operationalization in the region. (JCR/AMB/CGRC, PIA Region 1)
 

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Caren Grace Cabanayan

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