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Bongat highlights programs for children

By Maolin S. Macatangay, CEPPIO

State of Our Children's Address

STATE OF NAGA CHILDREN. Mayor John G. Bongat (second from left) is seen here with his daughter Jade and wife, First Lady Farah, during the city’s celebration of the National Children’s Month where he delivered a State of the City’s Children Report. CEPPIO PHOTO

IN CELEBRATION of the National Children’s Month, City Mayor John Bongat on Monday, Nov. 30, laid out a situationer on the local government’s programs on Health and Nutrition, Education, Social Welfare and Protection, and Inclusivity that focus on children development.

In his State of the Children Report, themed “Sa Naga, Kaakian Gana,” the city mayor highlighted the gains the city has achieved in the implementation of Republic Act 7610 which mandates that children below 18 years of age must be given “special protection against abuse, exploitation, and discrimination.”

In Naga, protection of children begins with the pre-pregnancy programs that cater to the needs of every mother-to-be. The programs include: the integration of health delivery services, provision of facilities like infirmaries and delivery centers, and Philhealth accreditation of the City Hospital, City Health Office, and the city-operated Our Lady of Lourdes Infirmary.

The city also instituted programs that provide expectant mothers with health care during their pregnancy. These include the Nutri-Nanay Program, Peer Counselors Program, free pre-natal check-ups and counselling, free Tetanus Toxoid Vaccination, and provision of Iron with Folic Acid vitamins.

The city furthermore puts premium on maternal health care where mother’s health plays a pivotal role in child’s early development.

These programs fall under Executive Order 2010-024 for Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition, Executive Order 2012-021 which creates the Breastfeeding TWG, and Ordinance 2014-068 which states the creation of the Naga City Council for the Welfare and Protection of Children.

All the 27 barangays of the city have Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition center providers, ten of which maintain their own birthing facilities.

There are also programs for early child education system as called for by Executive Order 2015-030 which mandates and advocates the ‘importance of enrolling children who are 3 to 4 years old in the city’s Educare Centers. The city has also created the Preschool Teacher on Foot Program where the teachers go to the children who are settled in remote barangays.

So far, data show that nine out of 10 pre-school aged children attained normal nutritional status compared to children’s status a few years ago.

The data prove that the city’s children are experiencing quality health and educational services but the city government does not stop there; it also created Child Protection and Welfare Interventions that took after the neglected children.

The Naga City Children’s Home operates a Multi-Grade School, with values formation, sports development, and partnership with donor institutions and individuals. The city also teams up with community-based rehab specialists, New Women’s Center, Sanggawadan, and Bantay Familia to make sure that the children are well taken care of.

Some P80M worth of investments have been appropriated to maintain and develop the city’s Educare System, Physical Education and School Sports, Scholarships, Special Education, Alternative Learning System, Summer Enrichment Program, and Nutri-Dunong Program, among others, the mayor said.

Through the efforts of Mayor John Bongat, the city government, and the rest of the Nagueños, have been doing their part to sustain the city’s title as one of the Most Child-Friendly Cities in the entire country.