Editorial: Again we ask, how are the children?-A A +A
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
IN THE wall of a Sun.Star - Philippine News last Saturday was a disturbing sight. An image of the front page of Sun.Star Davao Superbalita has just been uploaded, the headline simply said: “Flashflood.”
Following just a few minutes after was the image of the front page of Sun.Star Cebu Superbalita whose headline read: "2 ka barangay gibahaan" (2 villages flooded).
Having been uploaded one after the other, the account’s timeline thus showed a spread of two headlines that was all about flood and which could have been interchangeable had the visitor not given a moment to check which happened where.
Yesterday, we woke up to a cloudy Monday, bed weather, we called it. The sun showed itself up at around noon, although not in its noontime best.
In Malungon, South Cotabato, more than 400 families have been displaced by floodwaters in three sitio of two barangays.
Save the Children, an international non-government organization, last September 6 reported that more than half a million children are still affected by floods in Bulacan, Laguna, Pampanga and Metro Manila and have to make do with temporary shelter in public schools. In turn, the children of these public schools have to share already tight spaces with the evacuees.
Obviously, we are not yet seeing the worse, and yet children by the millions are already suffering. Some families are entertaining the likelihood of spending Christmas in these evacuation centers.
Life in evacuation centers are never the ideal living condition to bring up children. And the cramped spaces of already cramped school campuses are never the idea space to learn. And yet, there they are, a few days or weeks or even months, having to make do with limited facilities and disrupted schooling.
It is time for local government units to entertain investments and thresh out procedures for comfortable temporary shelter arrangements and maybe even expandable classroom spaces considering the regularity by which these disasters are now happening.
Along with it should be a collective community response to ensure that disruptions to schooling and daily routine of children are reduced to a minimum. These are but a few steps people and government can start pondering on and preparing for as we continue to pray for less of the more devastating typhoons, rainfalls, earthquakes, monsoon waves, and all other disasters that regularly visit our shores.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 11, 2012.