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National Children’s Month to focus on children’s mental health issues

MANILA -- The Council for the Welfare of Children will seek to address the mental health and well-being of children as the council marks the 30th National Children’s Month observance on November 3.

Highlighting the theme “Kalusugan, Kaisipan at Kapakanan ng Bawat Bata Ating Tutukan,” the kick-off ceremonies will gather participants from national government agencies, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, and local government units.

Undersecretary Angelo Tapales, CWC Executive Director, said this year’s theme is anchored on the World Health Organization’s statement that health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

“Many were affected during the Covid-19 pandemic. But the silent victims of the pandemic are the youth and children as there were no discussions on how the pandemic has affected them,” Tapales said in a press briefing last Tuesday, October 25.

He added the CWC will also push for the review of the Mental Health Law to include children’s welfare.

In 2018, the Philippines had published findings from the 2015 National Baseline Study on Violence against Children (NBS-VAC) showing that children and youth aged 13-24 years, experience high levels of physical (64.2 per cent), psychological (61.5 per cent), sexual (22.4 per cent) and peer (65 per cent) violence. 

It was the first study to measure prevalence of all forms of violence against children across the country.

Some activities lined-up during the kick-off are: ceremonial launching of the CWC MAKABATA Helpline, partnership launching with the Miriam College Child Rights Advocacy Center (CRAC), National Play Advocacy Week (NPAW) Partners’ Play Toolkit launch, and the relaunching of the Mental Health Literary Pieces for Children: Sarilaysay Activity Book and Eroplanong Papel Comic Book.

Video documentaries on the success stories of Local Government Units on Child Participation and the Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC Functionality) will also be shown.

The Makabatang Buhay Talk Show on Child-Friendly Local Governance will also be held with Mayor Dahlia A. Loyola from the municipality of Carmona, Cavite as speaker.

Republic Act 10661 or the National Children’s Month Act is celebrated every November and commemorates the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989. Under section 3 of the law, the CWC, National Youth Commission, and the Department of Social Welfare Development were designated as the lead agencies for the conduct of the celebration. 

The month-long celebration aims to instill in the Filipino consciousness as well as sustain the promotion and protection of children’s rights. (CS/PIA-PMD)

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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