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PIA Press Release

Local governments, police celebrate Children's Month

General Santos City (18 October) -- Sarangani Governor Miguel Dominguez will renew his administration's commitment to the well-being of Sarangan children vis-ā-vis his report on their state in this year's observance of Children's Month.

From the original date on October 25, the provincial government will culminate its celebration on November 7 with the State of Children Report highlighting the event. Children's Month is celebrated every October of the year.

Racquel Panal, assistant provincial social welfare and development officer of Sarangani, said the preparation is underway "what we need is little polishing of few things to be included in the report and perhaps come up with new activities."

The provincial children's month culmination at the Capitol gymnasium will be capped by children's congress in the morning to be followed by Gov Migs' Report in the afternoon.

Panal said the seven municipalities of the province will also have their own versions of Children's Month celebration slated on earlier dates.

Meanwhile the city government of General Santos has started its celebration Monday, October 15 to 19 institutionalizing the event at the barangay levels.

The celebration, according to the City Public Information Office (CPIO), shall have among others, draw and tell and singing contests as children's main activities. It will also have free clinics and would involve parents to participate in other children's concerns.

This year, the city government has turned-over the celebration to the barangays for them to have greater participation and appreciation of children's activities.

Next to the family, it is the responsibility of the barangay to ensure the welfare of the child by supporting and promoting their rights and protecting them from violence, Anita Villano, day care program coordinator of the city social welfare office, was quoted as saying.

The universal rights of the child to survival, development, participation and protection are enshrined in the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by at least 193 countries.

The Convention protects children from discrimination, neglect and abuse. It is the primary children's treaty which covers a full range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Joining the local governments in the celebration is the Philippine National Police, one of the critical stakeholders in ensuring that the rights of the child are safeguarded.

Kicking off its campaign, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 prodded both parents and caregivers here to help in the government's awareness drive on child's vulnerability to violence.

"Whether it is violence in the home, in the neighborhood or even on television, parents and all adults should be aware of the ill effects of continued exposure to violence can have on children," said PSINSP Lucia Lastimoso-Hicban, chief of PRO 12 Women Children Concerns Desk (WCCD) and Family Juvenile Gender and Development (FJGAD) Section.

"Children's Month provides a wonderful opportunity for WCCD/FJGAD to extend the message to parents and guardians about the importance of providing a dependable atmosphere for young children," she added.

She also stressed that Children's Month "is about being able to spot early warning signs of emotional and behavioral problems and taking action" on them.

PCSupt. Felizardo Serapio Jr., police 12 regional director also said "this celebration is an ongoing effort to increase public awareness about the importance of protecting and nurturing the rights and health of young people."

"Our potential to grow depends on the quality of life we give our children today. We are obliged to provide an encouraging and violence-free surroundings during their formative and most vulnerable years," Serapio said urging parents to be responsible in rearing their children.

Police activities in store for the celebration include medical and dental outreach, information drive/symposia on the rights of the child, street crime prevention and responsible parenthood seminars. (cta/PIA SarGen/RPIOPRO12) [top]

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