March 25, 2023

Members of the council on the protection of children met last week at the City Social Welfare and Development Office to review the 2020 programs for the four basic institutional committees: survival, development, participation and protection.

Committee members agree that the inculcation of values play a big part in the implementation of the programs.

Programs for the survival committee includes information and education campaign through the barangays on the prompt registration of birth, legal adoption and laws on the simulation of birth, effect of antenatal maternal health care awareness on the health and development of babies. Studies show that lack of health care for pregnant women may result to unhealthy babies, retardation, congenital anomalies and failure to thrive normally.

Tracking of pregnant women in the community are cascaded to health personnel, including regular duties such as Operation Timbang for children, supplementary vitamin distribution and home visits. Referrals, counseling and mandatory care may be done through a local government mandate for data checking.

A city-wide data gathering shall start this January.

Intensified and strengthened information campaign for children immunization is scheduled, with emphasis on no reported cases of complication of vaccine preventable diseases.

IECs for Responsible Parent and Reproductive Health (RPRH), newborn screening (NBS) proper nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding and use of properly calibrated data-gathering tools shall also be implemented.     

The council also delved on the need for baseline data on mental illnesses per age, strengthening of partnership with mental health professionals, strengthening of family and community values.

Privacy issues should also be considered.

It was suggested that a generational encounter with young mothers, and teen-age issues be addressed by trained speakers and guidance counselors.

For the development committee, empowering of the youth is on the forefront. Various needs should be addressed by appropriate offices or agencies, including abuses and assistance.

Moral recovery program through social media, educational materials, lectures during school and community assemblies are also planned, with help from faith-based groups and churches.

Under the protection committee, again the lack of data hinders intervention for victims of abuse, including improper handling/interview, lack of monitoring of night time and hazardous businesses employing or accepting minors, and activation of the anti-vice task force.

Children participating in various activities in the community is slated in 2020, including summits, summer workshops for talents, skills, and life values, youth camp, got talent, and Silahis ng Pasko.

Action plan for children’s organization, peer protection, assistance and technical support to children’s programs are also included, with documentation for community-based child friendly practices in consonance with the “Katangi-tanging Pambatang Barangay.” – Julie G. Fianza