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PIA Press Release

Sarangani marks children's month

MAITUM, Sarangani (30 October) -- Delegations from Sarangani's six other municipalities celebrated children's month in Maitum, a United Nations Development Programme and Galing Pook Foundation awardee for anti-poverty and child rights initiatives.

Maitum was honored with a special citation on local capacity innovations for the Millennium Development Goals last October 16 in Marikina City.

Mayor George Yabes, who reported the achievements of the town for children this year, placed maternal and child health care on top of his list.

"We have zero maternal death for the past two years," Yabes said in his State of the Children Address.

"All households sustain the use of iodized salt since 2004, all children are immunized in 2005 and 100% sustained vitamin A and iron supplementation," the mayor said.

Yabes wanted a zero-malnutrition rate in his municipality.

"We made significant progress, but we still have a distance to go," Yabes said.

The mayor was hopeful that in spite of the continuous increase of social concerns, the municipal government could "do some more in this line of funding."

"This is a tall order but our commitments to children demand that every effort be made to reach all the children that we have," Yabes said.

Yabes also reported that the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children and the Katarungang Pambarangay system in his municipality were functional.

Maitum is also active in counseling children in conflict with law. This is implemented by parents and the guardians, the Philippine National Police through its child and women's desk and the social welfare office.

In 2004, Maitum won the National Award for Most Child-Friendly Municipality. In 2005, the town received an award from Galing Pook Foundation for its best practices in promoting child rights.

Maitum has got the children involved in environmental protection and conservation. 1,500 children have participated in the release of marine turtle hatchlings and planted 200 trees in barangay New La Union. (Sarangani IO/PIA 12) [top]

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