TACLOBAN CITY – The highly urbanized City of Tacloban under the leadership of Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez was conferred on Wednesday, November 14, the ‘2017 Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance’ (SCFLG) award, during the regional awarding ceremony held at Hotel Lorenza, this City.
Conferred by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and its partner agency the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the award was received by Executive Assistant Atty. Marie Ronette Salve Barreda.
The award is based on the results of the mandatory Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) conducted in the different local government units (LGUs) in Region 8, which is designed to enhance the delivery of social services for children. The program audit consists of 12-point indicators that assess the overall performance of LGUs.
LGUs were assessed using the following indicators: a reduction in deaths among under five-year-old children; reduction in children under six years old with below normal weights; percentage increase in daycare/early learning center attendance (public and private); and completion rate for elementary schooling (public and private).
The absence or reduction of child labor or percentage reduction in child labor cases; percentage reduction in the number of children who are victims of violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation, and trafficking were also considered during the program audit.
Under Mayor Romualdez, the city government has initiated child-friendly policy and programs that focus on health, nutrition, education, and social protection.
One of the noteworthy programs of the city government benefiting children is the supplementary feeding program which benefits day care pupils from the 71 day care centers around the city.
Lasting a cycle of 120 days, it is being implemented by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and is considered to be instrumental in the drop of malnutrition prevalence in the city.
The local government unit (LGU) also maintains a center for abused children (along with a Center for Abused Women) – the only facility of its kind in Region 8 managed by an LGU, which offers psychosocial support and a temporary sanctuary for neglected and maltreated children.
In city barangays, child-friendly desks were also instituted to render protection services to children, while the City Health Office maintains a network of health centers which puts a premium on child healthcare.
Last year, Tacloban was hailed as a finalist of the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities for its outstanding performance in the implementation of child-friendly programs. (HENRY JAMES ROCA with a report from D. ABARQUEZ/CIO)