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PIA Press Release

New devinfo software boosts knowledge center

by Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (27 October) -- Planning of programs for children and women in Oriental Negros is now made easier with a more improved Knowledge Center for Children under the Child Friendly Movement in the province.

According to Kurt Zion Pala, Economic Development Specialist of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-7 in Cebu, a new and more sophisticated software has been developed for the Knowledge Centers for Children in the country.

Pala, as focal person for Development Information, was in Dumaguete City recently to train members of the Knowledge Network Committee in the province on the Development Information Version 5.0 software which will be used to pool evidence-based data to be used for planning, budgeting and mobilizing resources for programs focused on children and women.

With the DevInfo v5.0, committee members can regularly submit updated data for collection and analysis of policy makers. “This data will be used by policy makers in their planning for children and the public as well,” said Jennifer Catan-Tilos, Infocen Manager of the Philippine Information Agency here.

PIA, together with the provincial government of Oriental Negros and Unicef, spearheaded the three-day training held at Plaza Ma. Luisa Suites Inn.

Tilos said the Knowledge Center will serve as a resource center of accurate and current data and information on projects and activities for children’s concerns; statistics on children and women; books, laws and ordinances on children and women.

It will also package date into factsheets, charts, tables, maps and State of the Province Reports and analyze date and produce IEC materials using evidence-based information.

The Knowledge Center in the province is managed by Engr. Frederick Flores of the Provincial Planning and Development Office.

Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is pushing for the inclusion of “newborn screening” into the government’s national action plan for infants.

Newborn screening is a process by which infants are tested for possible inherited diseases.

“We should include newborn screening in the national action plan for infants,” Arroyo said during a roundtable discussion in Malacañang on Monday.

Her statement was made in time for the observation of national newborn screening week, which was created last year through Presidential Proclamation 640.

Dr. Carmencita Padilla of the Department of Health explained that the program would not only help save babies from future mental retardation but also save parents the cost of hospitalization.

“Taking care of a child is so expensive,” Padilla said. “The expenses a parent may incur for a sick child can reach P70,000.”

Two children were presented to Arroyo during the roundtable --9-year-old Janelle Barrameda, who benefited from the newborn screening process, and a 17-year-old who was not screened and began suffering mental health problem three years ago. (PIA) [top]

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