RSCWC Davao emphasizes strengthening of policy to protect children during disaster

Renee Boy Binondo, regional coordinator of Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children-Davao (RSCWC-Davao), emphasizes during this week's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao the strengthening of Republic Act 10821 also known as the
Renee Boy Binondo, regional coordinator of Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children-Davao (RSCWC-Davao), emphasizes during this week's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao the strengthening of Republic Act 10821 also known as the "Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act (CERPA)" to protect the children, specially in time of disasters and calamities. LEAN DAVAL JR

An official of the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children-Davao (RSCWC-Davao) emphasized on Monday the strengthening of Republic Act 10821 also known as the “Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act (CERPA)” to protect the children from the media coverage during disasters and calamities.

Renee Boy Binondo, regional coordinator of RSCWC, said that this is what piqued the agency to monitor the children, especially the survivors of the Masara landslide.

“Medyo kulang ang RA 10821 because wala nakalatag explicitly ang bata nga gicover protecting child in media coverage during disaster. What we can do is, because we are the ones monitoring the child-friendliness of the local government, by looking at their comprehensive emergency program for children incorporated in their local Disaster Risk Reduction Management plans,” Binondo said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao on Monday.

Binondo emphasized the need for extreme caution when dealing with minors in sensitive situations, citing potential violations of their rights and the legal consequences that may follow.

He said like an instance when a child was rescued alive from the rubble two days after the landslide in Maco, Davao de Oro.

“There are reports brought up by DSWD and some of our media friends on the proper guidelines for covering children who are survivors of disaster. Nalipay ta nga naay nagsurvive but we also would like to remind, wala tay problema sa KBP media mainstream, medyo ang challenging kay kaning mga vloggers and kaning nasa social media nga nag interview. There is one individual on YouTube or video nga gina interview gyud niya ang bata. We would like to remind you that these children suffered trauma. We would not want to keep on repeating, one of the principles of the humanitarian settings according to our global architecture bisan ug sa local, do no harm,” Binondo said.

He also pointed out that actions that “debases, degrades, or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child” can be considered child abuse under Republic Act No. 7610.

Binondo reminded the media that before posting any content featuring a child, explicit permission must be obtained from the parents or legal guardians, as the unauthorized dissemination of such material on social media could violate the Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

“We have good faith in interviewing, taking the stories, telling the public, and helping them but if this is in good faith. But if this will bring harm to the children kay ma-upload biya ni, pagdako niya magbalik balik ni, so our concern like DSWD and DOH for mental health and psychosocial support is the intervention of these children because trauma mugawas one year, two years, even three years pa if they witnessed dying persons or dead bodies,” he added.

Binondo reminded the public to always follow the protocols in covering children.

“We would like to remind the public, bisan katong naa sa barangay level, kay bisan kinsa na lang man gud ang puwedeng mu-interview unya mawala ang protocols. We have also to look at the full implementation of CERPA localizing this Comprehensive Emergency Program for Children, looking at child-friendly spaces kung naa sa evacuation center to prevent child abuse and exploitation and other harmful experiences that can be encountered by the children,” he said.

He also said what RSCWC-Davao can do is strongly recommend any findings that are a bit of a loophole in the implementation of RA 10821 of the local government units (LGUs).

“Tan-awon nato ron, magmonitor mi, check and i-call ang attention just to see to it kung na implement because this law also is not popularized but we are happy to note that the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) seriously considering this law in Davao de Oro including Maco and Mawab. Their personnel were already trained on this law kaya lang ang pag apply didto na pud nato i-monitor kung na apply ba gyud tanan,” Binondo said.

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