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EDITORIAL: Child Triumph

IN a resounding testament to the dedication of local government units (LGUs) in the Bicol region, twenty-seven municipalities have emerged as beacons of child-friendly governance.

The distinction, revealed through the 2022 Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Bicol (DILG-5), positions these communities as paragons of prioritizing the welfare of the youngest members of society.

Distinguished among the honored LGUs are nine in the province of Sorsogon, including Sorsogon City and the towns of Juban, Pilar, Barcelona, Castilla, Bulusan, Magallanes, Casiguran, and Irosin.

Additionally, eight LGUs in Albay, encompassing the cities of Legazpi, Ligao, and Tabaco, along with the towns of Polangui, Libon, and Sto. Domingo, Malilipot, and Daraga, share in this commendable recognition.

Camarines Sur, Masbate, and Camarines Norte each boast a cohort of child-friendly havens, contributing to the regional landscape of dedicated governance. The top performers in this illustrious group include Sorsogon City, securing the highest passing rate at an impressive 97 percent.

Following closely are the municipality of Pio V. Corpuz in Masbate (95.43 percent), Masbate City (94.13 percent), Juban town in Sorsogon (94 percent), and Polangui (93.95 percent).

The accolade extends beyond mere acknowledgment, as all CFLGA passers become eligible for the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance (SCFLG), a prestigious recognition conferred by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) Board.

In a recent interview, Daraga Mayor Carlywn Baldo expressed sincere gratitude to the DILG and CWC for the coveted recognition. He emphasized that this milestone is a testament to the collaborative efforts of local departments committed to ensuring the protection, development, and well-being of the region’s children. Mayor Baldo pledged to sustain these gains by implementing additional policies, programs, and services tailored to meet the unique needs of their young constituents.

Meanwhile, Polangui Mayor Adrian Salceda, buoyed by the accomplishment, took to social media to celebrate the town’s continued excellence, securing the top rank in Albay and an impressive fifth position in the entire region.

The CFLGA, functioning as a robust results-based assessment instrument and an annual mandatory audit, critically evaluates LGUs’ performance in delivering social services and programs that promote the welfare and well-being of children.

To achieve success in the audit, an LGU must obtain an overall passing rate of 80 percent across five indicators categorically aligned with the core rights of children: survival, development, protection, participation, and governance.

The 2022 audit yielded a remarkable surge in recognition, with the CWC Board conferring the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance upon 782 LGUs, marking a substantial increase from the 372 recipients in the preceding year. This surge reflects a nationwide commitment to fostering environments where the rights and well-being of every child are not just acknowledged but actively championed.

As these LGUs continue to set the standard for child-friendly governance, their collective dedication serves as an inspiration and a blueprint for others to follow suit.


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