Child rights group: Thousands of children in Bicol missing out on learning

A child rights organization on Monday expressed concern over the current situation of children who were affected by super typhoon “Rolly” in Bicol - especially those who continue to stay in makeshift homes, experience hunger, and miss out on schooling.


More than a month after “Rolly” - the world’s most powerful typhoon ever to make a landfall in 2020 hit the Bicol region - Save the Children Philippines (SCP) said that “thousands of children still live in makeshift homes, facing extreme hunger, and missing out on learning.”

SCP’s Humanitarian Response Team was set to release on Tuesday the “Typhoon Rolly: One Month On” report which comprehensively covers the situation of affected children and families in terms of education, food security and livelihood, health and nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene, and child protection.

The group noted that a month since “Rolly” pummeled the Bicol region, thousands of families still face difficulty recovering and rebuilding their lives and economic conditions due to the massive destruction of their sources of livelihood and disruption of other essential services.

“Disasters leave deep scars on children’s well-being because they are exposed to traumatic events such as losing homes, seeing tremendous damages, and at times, witnessing the loss of lives,” said SCP Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot.

Muyot, who is also a former Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary, explained that climate-related disasters also disrupt children’s learning, destroy homes, educational facilities, health centers, and other infrastructure critical to children’s well-being. “Children who were affected by disasters need to go back to learning, to establish normalcy and routine in their lives,” he added.

SCP has launched a series of integrated response activities to support the needs of some 50,000 most vulnerable children and families in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Albay, and Catanduanes.

These include education in emergencies, programs on child protection, health and nutrition, mental health and psychosocial support (MPSS), as well as water, hygiene, and sanitation.

SCP Health and Nutrition Advisor Dr. Amado Parawan also provided support to the health personnel of Tiwi, Albay on screening, referral, and treatment of severely acute malnourished, and moderately acute malnourished children.

The SCP is also set to establish a satellite office in Catanduanes to support 1,200 families with unconditional multi-purpose cash assistance to help them get back on their feet. The disbursement of cash assistance will be facilitated by the Philippine Postal Corporation.

The child rights organization has helped some 2,000 families, including 3,755 children by distributing life-saving items such as 3,000 plastic sheets for emergency shelter, family hygiene kits, water kits, and 1,000 household kits, as well as 2,000 boxes of face masks and 4,000 bottles of alcohol for COVID-19 protection.