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27 LGUs hailed for child-friendly merit


DARAGA, Albay --- In a remarkable display of commitment to child welfare, twenty-seven local government units (LGUs) in the scenic Bicol region emerged as shining examples of child-friendly places.

The prestigious accolade was bestowed upon them following the release of the 2022 Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) results by the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Bicol (DILG-5) on a Monday that would be etched in their collective memory.

The provinces of Sorsogon and Albay stood out, with nine and eight commendable LGUs, respectively. Sorsogon City, along with the towns of Juban, Pilar, Barcelona, Castilla, Bulusan, Magallanes, Casiguran, and Irosin, secured their place on the coveted list. Meanwhile, Albay’s honorees included the cities of Legazpi, Ligao, and Tabaco, along with the towns of Polangui, Libon, and Sto. Domingo, Malilipot, and Daraga.

Camarines Sur contributed five child-friendly havens – the cities of Iriga and Naga, and the towns of Magarao, Tinambac, and Milaor. Masbate, not to be outdone, had four of its own, featuring Masbate City and the towns of Pio V. Corpuz, Esperanza, and Milagros, along with San Vicente in Camarines Norte.

THE City of Naga spearheads child-centered programs and activities as part of its effort to further improve their well-being. Emman Cleofe, CEPPIO

Naga Mayor Nelson Legacion, during his State of the Children Report on November 18, expressed pride in maintaining an unbroken record of six consecutive years, starting in 2016, as a Child-Friendly City. Mayor Legacion credited the city’s commitment, stating, “This only shows that in Naga, it is the children who are indeed special.”

Naga’s dedication to child welfare has not only resonated within the Philippines but has also garnered international acclaim. City Administrator Elmer Baldemoro, representing Naga at the Child-Friendly Cities Forum in March 2023, shared the city’s best practices with delegates from various countries.

Legacion attributed the latest accolade to the collective efforts of the Naga City Council for the Welfare and Protection of Children and the Children’s Affairs Office. He acknowledged the crucial support from the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children and the Barangay Children’s Organization and its federation across the city’s 27 barangays.

Empowering Children: Achievements in 2023

Right to Development

The city’s commitment to education is evident in the establishment of five new schools, including an elementary school in Sitio Yabu and secondary schools in San Isidro, Balatas, Sta. Cruz, and Mabolo, currently serving 1,500 students.

Initiatives like the Bike to School program and the Quality Universal Education Empowerment in Naga (QUEEN) program, providing financial and rice subsidies to families, have positively impacted education. Cash incentives, based on Ordinance No. 2020-136, were granted to 340 children of solo parents for outstanding academic performance.

Under the Early Childhood Care and Development Division, 71 Educare Centers enroll 3,493 preschoolers, ensuring quality early education services.

The reopening of the Bicol Science and Technology Centrum in March and an educational tour in August showcased the city’s commitment to scientific knowledge and cultural awareness.

The upcoming People’s Park and Recreation Center in Barangay Mabolo, part of the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan, aims to enhance child development through playgrounds and recreational facilities.

Right to Survival

The Naga City General Hospital, set to be formally turned over on December 12, 2023, will improve maternal and child care, pediatric services, and nutrition.

Free cardiovascular surgical missions and successful immunization efforts have contributed to reducing child mortality and promoting overall health.

Right to Protection

The forthcoming Center for Safety and Resiliency, housing the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection, is poised to enhance emergency response capabilities, ensuring the safety of children.

The Children’s Training on Emergency Response and Disaster Preparedness, along with assistance to Children In Conflict with the Law (CICL) and Children at Risk (CAR), highlights the city’s commitment to protection.

Right to Participate

Naga City champions participative governance for children, giving them a voice in policymaking through the Barangay Children Organization. Child representatives actively contribute to policies, programs, and activities that safeguard their welfare.

Throughout the year, the city organized diverse events, including the Children’s Festival, Safer Internet Day, Oral Health Congress, Girl-Child Week, puppetry-making, theatre workshops, and the National Children’s Month celebrations.

CHILD-FRIENDLY TOWN. Daycare students in Barangay Salvacion receive fluoride treatment administered by the local health office of Daraga in Albay province on Nov. 13, 2023. Daraga town is one of the 27 local government units in the Bicol Region recognized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government as child-friendly based on the 2022 Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit. (Photo courtesy of Daraga-PIO)

Naga City’s unwavering dedication to child-friendly governance stands as a beacon, setting an exemplary standard for communities both within and beyond borders.

Sorsogon City claimed the highest passing rate in the region, an impressive 97 percent. Pio V. Corpuz in Masbate followed closely at 95.43 percent, with Masbate City securing a commendable 94.13 percent. Juban town in Sorsogon and Polangui in Albay also clinched notable positions with passing rates of 94 percent and 93.95 percent, respectively.

The recognition did not stop at applause; all CFLGA passers were granted eligibility for the esteemed Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance (SCFLG) by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) Board.

In a heartfelt interview, Daraga Mayor Carlywn Baldo expressed gratitude to the DILG and CWC, acknowledging the privilege of being part of this distinguished list. He emphasized the collaborative efforts of local departments in safeguarding the protection, development, and well-being of the children. Baldo vowed to build on this milestone, pledging to implement more policies, programs, and services catering to the needs of the younger generation.

Polangui Mayor Adrian Salceda, equally elated, took to social media to celebrate the town’s achievement, ranking first in Albay and securing the fifth position in the entire region.

The CFLGA, functioning as a results-based assessment instrument and an annual mandatory audit, evaluates LGUs’ performance in delivering social services and programs promoting children’s welfare. To pass the audit, an LGU must attain an overall passing rate of 80 percent across five indicators reflecting the core rights of children: survival, development, protection, participation, and governance.

In a resounding testament to the nationwide commitment to child-friendly governance, the CWC Board conferred the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance upon 782 LGUs in its 2022 audit – a substantial increase from the 372 recipients in the preceding year. The wave of recognition and celebration reaffirms the collective dedication to fostering an environment where the rights and well-being of every child are not just acknowledged but actively championed.


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