Child Friendly Places in the Philippines

By Minerva Newman, PIA

The towns of Pilar in Camotes Islands and Argao in Cebu are two of the ten (10) provincial entries for this year’s Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities at the regional level.

The towns of Pilar in Camotes Islands, Cebu; Batuan and Catigbi-an in Bohol and Jimalalud in Negros Oriental vie under the 4th-6th class municipalities category while Argao, Cebu and Inabanga and Tubigon, Bohol vie for the 1st-3rd class municipalities category.

“In the previous years, there were only three (3) categories because the Highly-Urbanized, Independent, and Component City belong to one category,” said Nimia Antipala, the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC-7) focal person.

In 2007, LGUs from the highly-urbanized and component city category commented that highly-urbanized and independent cities should not be lumped with the component cities. Because of their nature, they should each have a category.

Antipala added that the RSCWC-7 Regional Award Committee reviewed the comments and saw the merits of the suggestions. It then recommended to the National Award Committee to have a separate category for the Highly-Urbanized and Independent Cities and that of the Component Cities.

“So for this year’s Child-Friendly award, we have four categories: (a) 1st-3rd Class Municipalities; (b) 4th-6th Class Municipalities; (c) Component City and (d) Highly-Urbanized/Independent City with Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental as the lone entry for the Component City category while Cebu City and Lapu-lapu City are vying for the Highly-Urbanized/Independent City category, ” Antipala reported.

It can be recalled that the search for the Presidential Award for the Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities was initiated by the Council for the Welfare of Children in 2000.

The award is conferred annually to deserving local government units in recognition to their efforts in promoting children’s rights and Child-Friendly governance, this is learned.

An evaluation team of the RSCWC-7 Regional Award Committee is now almost complete in its validation visits and assessment of the 10 provincial entries for the regional awards.

For the municipality or city to qualify for selection for the regional awards, it must get a minimum final rating of 85 percent. Once the entries are with the RSCWC, the scores will go back to zero and they will have to undergo another round of assessment and validation.

“This is also adopted by the National Award committee,” the RSCWC-7 said.

The outstanding regional winner will be given the Regional Seal Award plus P50,000 and the national winner will get a trophy and P300,000 in cash.

Local government units that have won for three consecutive national award shall be given a Hall of Fame Award with a trophy and P500,000.00 in cash.

It is learned that the cash awards should be used for projects that include capability building for service providers such as daycare workers, health workers, midwives and or for caregivers; repair, upgrade of infrastructure such as daycare, health and reading centers.

Cash awards will also be used to purchase of equipment and supplies for schools and health stations; monitor and evaluate child-related projects and services as well as for other innovative projects that may be approved by the council.

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