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PIA Press Release

ECCD improves Siquijor day care centers' operation

by RA Calilbo

Siquijor (11 April) -- Since the implementation of the government's Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project in 2000 [now Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD)], the Day Care Centers' operation, as well as the performance and skills of the teachers in Larena town, province of Siquijor have greatly improved.

Result of the evaluation conducted by the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently showed 20 barangays in the municipality having earned stars for proper maintenance and upkeep of their Day Care Centers.

Accredited with a high four-star rating (the highest being, five star) were barangays Basac, Bintangan, Canlambo, Cangmalalag, Helen, North Poblacion , and Sabang. Thirteen others earned the three-star accreditation according to the DSWD rating.

These are the mountain barangays of Balolang, Cabulihan, Canlasog, Calunasan, Cang-apa, Cang-allas, Catamboan, and Ponong and the coastal barangays of Cangbagsa, Bontod, Sandugan, South Poblacion and Taculing.

Only barangays Nonoc, Candigum and Bagacay remain for accreditation but their Day Care Centers have already been accredited, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Rosalie D. Balongag said.

As may be recalled, the all centers showed a poor rating during the 1997 evaluation and assessment of Day Center in the municipality.

"The result is really a big leap for the barangays," Balongag also said.

In October last year, a total of P5,0367,770.40 was released by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children October last year for the expansion of existing ECCD program and establishment of ECCD system in Siquijor province based on the 2006 work and financial plan.

The initial release was part of the P20,625,000 budget for the province's ECCD program that calls for 80-20 percent sharing from the council and the local government.

Larena LGU has put up a counterpart of P120 thousand.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye earlier stated that the decline in the country's debt brings the administration a wider elbow room for more resources which will provide the people with basic social services and infrastructure programs aimed at lifting them from poverty like that of ECCD.

And the marked improvement in the economy the country is experiencing right now is due to the radical fiscal reforms implemented by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the first six years of her administration, he said.

"The President's fiscal reforms have resulted in a stronger peso, reduced budget deficit and public debt and increased foreign investments," Bunye also said in his weekly column "The View From the Palace".

These fiscal reforms include the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) Law which increases the rate of VAT imposed on goods and services from 10 to 12 percent and the National Attrition Law which pushes revenue generating agencies to meet their collection targets or face stiff penalties.

Bunye said the President's implementation of "tough decisions" that include the E-VAT Law and the National Attrition Law have been primary in the move to grow the economy and the President is "even more determined to fuse growth with political stability." (RDB/PIA) [top]

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