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2020 National Children’s Month Celebration



On March 16, Presidential Proclamation No. 929 declared the Philippines in a State of Calamity due to the danger posed by the alarming number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. This imposed various states of community quarantine all over the country.

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a new strain of virus first detected in 2019 and is known to target a person’s respiratory system. What started as a health crisis has evolved into an economic, humanitarian, and development crisis where access to basic and essential services has been limited to curb viral transmission. People all over the world bear the effect of the crisis where adults who usually provide for their families face loss of livelihood and income.

According to the United Nation’s Policy Brief on COVID-19 and Children, “there are three main ways children are affected by the crisis and this includes infection with the virus itself, immediate socioeconomic impacts of measures to stop virus transmission and end the pandemic, and the potential longer-term effects of delayed implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) situation restricted people’s movement with overcrowding in the homes, increased the number of people who experienced absence or loss of income to buy basic essentials for the family, and induced higher level of stress and anxiety brought by COVID 19. By this, children may encounter forms of violence right within the family, especially in already violent or dysfunctional families.

Particularly, COVID-19 has disrupted the environments where children thrive and these disruptions affect the rights of the children to survive, develop, to be protected and participate safely and fully. The distress within the families coupled with restricted movement exacerbated the risks of children to neglect, exploitative labor, social exclusion, physical, sexual, psychological, offline and online sexual abuse, which existed long before COVID-19.

The 2015 National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children (NBS – VAC) revealed that most Filipino children experience and are vulnerable to physical, psychosocial and sexual violence in any setting, but it is significantly high in the home. A disturbing 3 in 5 children suffer one or two forms of violence at home, while parents and other members of the family (brothers, cousins, and sisters) are often the perpetrators of abuse.

The systematic literature review of the drivers of violence in the Philippines showed that social norms around the use of and effectiveness of discipline, authoritarian parenting, parent’s levels of education, parental histories of physical abuse when they were growing up combined with financial stress and substance misuse as risk factors for physical violence in the home. While the lack of supervision, single headed households and absent parents increases the vulnerability of children to sexual violence at home.

Alarmingly, duration of quarantine and further imposition of lockdowns increases the vulnerability of children to violence where they are trapped inside the homes they share together with their perpetrators and may not be able to seek immediate protection or help because of their limited access to people whom they trust or seek help from.


Data also showed that children have been badly affected by and has experienced violence in the midst of emergency situations in the country such as sexual violence and exploitation during the Zamboanga siege in 2013 and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Further, with this current pandemic, parents and caregivers are striving to balance income generation, child – care, and self – care now more than ever. With the premise mentioned above, the 2020 National Children’s Month shall focus on “Upholding Children’s Rights During the Pandemic like COVID-19” to promote the protection of all children and their rights, provide practical support to parents and caregivers on how to care for children and themselves during the pandemic, empower children to protect themselves and report experience of abuse and guide LGUs to efficiently deliver their expected roles and functions.

By virtue of Republic Act 10661, the National Children’s Month (NCM) in the Philippines commemorates the adoption of the UN CRC on 20 November 1989, is annually celebrated every November. It seeks to instill its significance in the Filipino consciousness.

This November 2020 marks the 28th anniversary of the NCM. In compliance with the new normal condition and strict compliance with the minimum health standards, the NCM observance shall utilize quad media (i.e. print media, broadcast media, outdoor media, and the social media) as a tool in tackling and educating Filipinos on children’s rights, parenting, and the concerns surrounding them.

This year’s celebration shall continuously anchor on the 3rd National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC) Goals to progressively realize the rights of children:

Goal 1:    Children have a better quality and improved way of life;
Goal 2:    Children are well nourished, have healthy lives and are active learners with good quality education;
Goal 3:    Children are safe and free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation; and
Goal 4:    Children are actively participating in decision-making processes affecting their lives according to their evolving capacities.

In addition, the observance will be aligned to the key result areas of the Philippine Plan of Action to End Violence Against Children (PPAEVAC)

  1. Parents and caregivers are aware of and practicing evidence-based parenting skills and positive discipline towards building a safe, nurturing and protective environment.
  2. Children and adolescent demonstrate personal skills in managing risks, protecting themselves from violence, reporting their experience of violence, and seeking professional help when needed.
  3. All children in need of special protection have access to appropriate and quality protective, social, mental, health, legal, economic, and judicial services ensuring that violence and trauma are prevented from recurring.
  4. Well-developed and effectively managed monitoring and evaluation system is in-place.
  5. All VAC-related laws are in-place and are effectively enforced.
  6. Multi-stakeholder child protection structures and systems at the national, provincial, municipal, city and barangay levels are operational and effectively functioning


This year’s NCM celebration will FOCUS on Upholding Children’s Rights During the Pandemic Like COVID-19, with the THEME Sama-samang Itaguyod Ang Karapatan ng Bawat Bata sa Panahon ng Pandemya!


The 2020 NCM aims to stimulate advocacy and public information on upholding child rights amid COVID-19. Specifically, it aims to:

  • Intensify public awareness on children’s rights and knowledge, adequate care for children, and application of positive discipline in daily dealings with children;
  • Promote further the institutionalization of a child-friendly environment and governance by promoting implementation and monitoring of child – related protocols at the sub – national levels;
  • Provide a platform for discourse on persistent and arising issues pertaining to children’s rights to survival, development, protection, and participation during and post COVID -19;
  • Empower the children as rights-holders to claim and protect their rights; and
  • Equip the duty-bearers to deliver their commitment and fulfil their obligations to protect children and fulfill rights of children.


The 2020 NCM shall focus on the four categories of children’s rights per week. Following the weekly format of last year’s NCM, the pre-launch activity is the Talakayang Makabata: The Virtual NCM Press Conference on the last week of October. On the month of November, the activities are as follows:

Weekly Thematic Focus 1

Weekly Thematic Focus 2

Weekly Thematic Focus 3

Weekly Thematic Focus 4

Weekly Thematic Focus 5

Weekly Thematic Focus 6

Weekly Thematic Focus 7



  • Virtual Contests: #HomeTogether Tiktok Challenge and Family Home Mural Contest
  • Development of Inter – faith Prayer of Children
  • Translation of and simultaneous launching of Panatang Makabata into native languages/ dialects and Filipino Sign Language
  • Film Viewing/ Storytelling Sessions every Fridays of November
  • Radio Streaming of Webinars
  • Release of 2020 NCM Facebook Profile Picture Frame, Cover Photo/ Banner for Facebook and Twitter
  • Release of Memorandum Circulars/ Department Orders from CSC, DILG, and DepEd on the NCM Celebration
  • Outdoor Media/ LED Wall promotional video – release
  • Radio/ TV Guesting/s
  • Posting of 30 seconder – 1 minute solidarity messages from partners and children.


  • Share/ post NCM – related advocacy materials on the websites and official social media accounts;
  • Recite the “Panatang Makabata” a solemn oath on the promotion and protection of the rights of a child during flag ceremonies every Mondays of November;
  • Develop, produce and distribute Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials and other collaterals to include those developed by CWC;
  • Conduct of organizational activity related to the focus and theme of the 2019 NCM and submission of activity details by emailing at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for inclusion in the NCM Calendar of Activities; and
  • Support and participate in all NCM major activities and NCM-related activities nationwide.