To boost advocacy on the welfare and protection of children, the provincial government, through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), successfully participated in the 30th National Children’s Month (NCM) kick-off ceremony held at the Capitol lobby on November 8, 2022.
This year’s theme, “Kalusugan, Kaisipan, at Kapakanan ng Bawat Bata Ating Tutukan,” focused on the mental health and well-being of children after the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) found out that in 2021 mental health was among the problems encountered by children due to the pandemic.
Around 400 children participated in the festivities, as they received loot bags, party snacks, and being entertained by clown shows. Filipina child star/actress Yesha Camile also gave an inspirational message and song for the children.
Meanwhile, Governor Dorothy Montejo-Gonzaga administered the oath to parents and teachers (Panatang Makabata), emphasizing the importance of protecting children’s rights.
“Special Month ni ninyu mga bata … tanang makaayu ninyu buhaton namo … kaming tanan diri nga mga dili bata… palangga kaayu mo namo” matud ni Gov. Gonzaga.
Provincial Child Welfare Focal Preciosa Toledo said in an interview that the provincial government will continue to strengthen its mental health support services for children. Such interventions include psychosocial treatments, counseling, family therapy, support hotlines, and among others that are in line with their rights to survival, development, protection, and participation.
“Pakusgan nato ang mga programang hisgutanan on protection of our children. Ang atong opisina sa PSWDO andam kaayu nga muhatag sa serbisyo (ug) ginapakusgan nato ang adbokasiya kung unsaon nato pag-detect ang atong mga bata nga naa nay mga issues on mental health” Toledo said.
Ms. Toledo added that more programs await the children this month that include the provincial children’s congress and Bulilit Fun Day which will be participated by the day care children of the province.
Further, on the culmination day, November 28, 2022, Governor Gonzaga will be presenting her Local State of the Children’s Report as part of the month-long activities.
Under Republic Act 10661, the month of November is designated as NCM celebration to commemorate the adoption of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on November 20, 1989. (JF, Photos by A. Dayao)