By Mayor Casan P. Dumulag
For year 2021, our municipality together with the nation has suffered from the effect of this COVID-19 pandemic. We are, like the rest of the world, still struggling to overcome the onslaught of the COVID-19. Nevertheless, the implementation of our programs and activities regarding our children has continued even if with limitations. With this, I would like to present to you our accomplishments for the past year in our fight for our children’s welfare and protection.
First, on the right of children to participate:
The celebration of the Municipal Children’s Day was marked with 360 children enrolled at the 20 Child Development Centers (CDCs) throughout the municipality receiving food supplies given the restrictions on mass gathering. In addition to ensuring the engagement of the children in such occasion, all the 9 barangays of the municipality have child representatives. The presence of Barangay Child Representatives and their selection of a Municipal Child Representative will surely contribute to the promotion of the rights and welfare of our children as they raise their voices/concerns in the respective platforms relating to children.
Second, on their right to development:
At present, we have 20 fully functioning Child Development Centers being monitored by our MSWDO with 360 children enrolled. All CDCs are participating in the Supplemental Feeding as part of the program being implemented by the MSWDO. 19 of our Child Development Workers (CDWs) have attended a self-enhancement training to advance their skills and strengthen their abilities. A capacity training on food preparation, values and leadership skills of parents and CDWs has been conducted as well.
Third, on their right to survival:
Ensuring the survival of infants is an utmost concern of the local government unit. For 2021, the Municipal Health Office (MHO) has recorded 0 maternal and neonatal death but 1 infant death and 2 abortion. The MHO has recorded a total number of 101 pregnant women with at least 4 prenatal check-ups and 82 live births with 36 males and 46 females.
Following the advocacy of facility based birthing and exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months, the MHO has logged 83 birth deliveries wherein 66 have been health facility-based deliveries with 17 non-facility-based deliveries.
On nutrition services for infants and children, the MHO has documented 87 newborns initiated on breastfeeding after birth lasting to 90 minutes with 64 infants exclusively breastfed until 6 months. Specific to nutrition data, the prevalence of underweight, wasting and stunting among 0-59 months totaled to 68 with 8 in severe situation. For the Vitamin A Supplement, 151 infants aging from 6-11 months have been given 1 dose of the vitamin while 670 children aging from 12-59 months old have received 2 doses of Vitamin A. Immunization of infants is one of the regular programs of the MHO which is scheduled every Wednesday of the week.
With regard to the deworming services, a total of 1,275 children have been dewormed with 607 children from ages 1-4 years old and 668 from ages 5-9 years old.
Our sustained partnership with the Noah’s Ark ministries has led to referral of 20 children for home care or educational assistance including regular monitoring in their schools and homes.
Fourth, on the right to protection:
This year, it has been disheartening that we have documented at least 1 child who has been sexually abused and exploited. It is noteworthy however, to mention that crimes involving sexual abuse to our children has dropped to only one in comparison to 2 in the year 2020 Assistance to clients during their respective hearings as well as counselling and other necessary services have been provided by the Municipal Local Government Unit through the Municipal Social Welfare Office to safeguard children in such situations.
The Local Children’s Code of 2007 is being reviewed to ensure relevance to the current situation of the children in our municipality.
Unceasingly, the LGU through the different offices and agencies in the municipality will remain committed to upholding and ensuring the rights and welfare of the children of Hungduan. Working hand in hand in the implementation of the various programs and intensifying the Information Education Campaigns (IECs) such as on Oplan Pani-o, Ammuna, mental health, and drug awareness and etc. of the MSWDO, MHO, the PNP and other concern offices – all of which are geared towards children protection, participation, survival and development will strongly contribute to keeping Hungduan a child-friendly municipality.
In closing, I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to all stakeholders for the concerted efforts towards the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of our children and let us continue to do so.
Thank you and God bless, Hungduan.