The provincial government of Bulacan through its Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO) conducted an orientation on Republic Act 10821 (The Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act) and basic sign language for its employees, social and child development workers via Zoom on Friday, July 23.
The orientation was part of the observance of National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) and National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week.
PSWDO head Rowena Joson-Tiongson said the activity was also in line with the Evacuation Center Coordination and Management (ECCM) program of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) for the province’s preparedness in times of disaster.
The RA 10821, signed and approved on May 18, 2016, sets a standard of accountability to children in terms of protection and provision of their needs before, during, and after a disaster.
According to Clarita Libiran of PDRRMO, aside from children, pregnant/lactating women and children with disabilities are also protected under this act and should be assured with immediate delivery of basic necessities and services.
Moreover, Ana Maria Santos and Efrida Christina Jo Zapanta from AKAPIN, Inc., an organization of parents for children and youth with disabilities, also spearheaded the basic sign language training to teach the CDWs and social workers on how to communicate with children with special needs, especially in the time that they require assistance during an unforeseen event, disaster or during their stay at the evacuation centers.
Bulacan Governor Daniel R. Fernando stressed the important role of social workers and child development workers in guiding and understanding the youth, especially when they are most needed.
Fernando said the social workers and child development workers are partners of the government in taking care of the youths, particularly in times of disaster.
“Tumulong tayo at maglingkod, ito ay panawagan ng sakripisyo at pag-unawa para mai-angat ang dangal ng ating mga kabataan at ating mga kalalawigan. Sinusuportahan po natin ang mga ganitong layunin para sa ating mga kabataan, lalu na ‘yong mga batang may special needs, (Let’s help and serve, this is a call of sacrifice and understanding to raise the integrity of the youths and our province mates. We support this objective for the youth, particularly those who have special needs),” the governor said.