August 5, 2022
As the 31st National Children’s Month culminated, Governor Dorothy P. Montejo-Gonzaga reported the current situation of the children in terms of the successful implementations of the programs, projects, and initiatives for children this year during her State of Children’s Address (SOCA) 2023.
The address took place at the Provincial Capitol Lobby on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, emphasizing support for children of all sectors, thereby sustaining a safe and child-friendly province.
“More than a year now as your Governor, anchored on the government works thrust, the implementation of our child-friendly and youth-centered programs and activities had been realized even with limitations on the budget and resources,” Governor Gonzaga said.
She highlighted in her report the collective efforts of the provincial government, national government agencies, and others that addressed the four core rights of children: the right to survival; development; protection; and participation, stressing the various aspects of children’s well-being, including access to quality healthcare, education, age-appropriate nutrition, a safe place to live, shelter from all types of violence, and the intensification of the provincial ordinances that protected their rights.
“I believe that the rights of the child must be realized and fulfilled in order to achieve their full potential and development. More so, our children are future human capital of the province, thus we should invest on them” Governor Gonzaga added.
Meanwhile, some in-school & out-of-school children, IP/Muslim children, Children with disabilities, Children at Risk, Victim-survivor children, and other disadvantaged young people joined the governor as they presented their Congress Statement created during the 2023 Children Congress, providing solutions and recommendations to the identified issues and concerns they experienced in the home, school, and community.
From providing rightfully deserved services and having their voices heard, the governor underscored the importance of their existence in shaping communities. Through all of these efforts, Davao de Oro was recognized by DILG XI in May 2023 as IDEAL of the 2022 PCPC Functionality Assessment, garnering the highest score (90.74%) level of functionality among the 6 provinces and 1 HUCC in the entire region.
In addition, she unveiled the following initiatives for next year: (a) strengthen advocacy for facility-based delivery and exclusive breastfeeding of infants; (b) improve the delivery of health, nutrition services; (c) address and further lower the prevalence of malnutrition among children 0-59 mos old; (d) establishment of the Child Protection Unit in the Hospital; (e) increase the number of scholarship beneficiaries or educational grantees; (f) improvement of the residential care facilities (Bahay Pag-asa & Bahay Pangarap); and (g) intensify information dissemination on the different laws/ordinances on children.
She ended her report by saying that “if we will be united and pool all together our commitments, efforts, resources we can do so much for our children. They are our future, our next generation – our venture, our investment will never be in vain if we are one in this journey to make this province a safe and child-friendly community.”
Further, the event drew a diverse audience, including BM Ruwina Gonzaga, BM Marie Jude Fuentes-Lopoz, BM Vivencia Secuya, PG & Assistant PG Heads, the members of the Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCPC), Municipal CPC, stakeholders, parents, duty bearers, media partners, and public servants, showing their full commitment as they recited the Panatang Makabata led by Acting Provincial Administrator Lewis Jake Caiman.
The SOCA featured the province’s persistent endeavors to establish a nurturing environment, empowering the next generation to flourish and make positive contributions to society. It is anticipated that the governor’s speech will initiate ongoing discussions and collaborations among stakeholders, all united in the common objective of ensuring that every child in the province has the opportunity to realize their full potential. (Jaynus Fernandez)
August 5, 2022
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