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PIA Press Release
2007/10/28

Iloilo council bats for "children perspective" in local governance

by ES Subong

Iloilo City (28 October) -- As the noise of the Barangay and SK Elections gets louder, the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) is telling those who will be elected to the positions of Barangay Captains, Kagawads and SKs, to govern their respective communities with "children perspective."

Mr. Chris Montano, Commission on Human Rights (CHR)6 official and Vice-Chair of the RSCWC said local governance would be more efficient if the officials in authority will take the "children perspective" which means they put into their programs, what and how the children would want to be the picture of development in their communities.

Montano, who shared his insights from a recent workshop he attended in Sweden during the forum on Child-Friendly Movement here, said development seen in the eyes of children can guide the leaders in charting a better future for them.

He cited a session in that Sweden workshop, where an official of the Department of Public Highways in that country shared an initiative where, before the agency constructed a public highway and all the infrastructures related to it, they first conducted a workshop with a group of children and asked them to raw how they want the construction done.

After the session, the Public Highways officials saw how and what the children wanted their community to look like, as they indicated where schools, bus lanes, malls and playgrounds should be located. The officials told the workshop participants that much of the blue print they followed in designing their infrastructure projects was based on the children's drawings.

Montano said putting children perspective in the programs and projects is not new in the Philippines which has a lot of child-related laws. He, however, said that majority of this programs are seen in the eyes of the adult implementers as children were never asked what they wanted their future community would be.

Atty. Virgilio Garcia, also an RSCWC member, told forum participants that it is now time for "children perspective" in governance to be placed in the mainstream of the mindset of politicians, and in a country, where children are viewed as "victims" rather than participants in shaping their future.

DSWD and RSCWC Chairperson Teresita Rosales said the council is embarking on initiatives to visit different communities, including barangays to orient or re-orient the officials on how they can effectively functionalize the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children as a vehicle for genuinely realizing the rights of children through sound ordinances and resolutions.

Montano added that for the local officials and the legislators in all levels to pay attention to children and allow them to participate in decision-making is a form of accountability. (PIA 6) [top]

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