2nd SOCA: Governor Padilla reports more accomplishments for children
In celebration of the 23rd National Children’s Month where the young Novo Vizcayanos received the fourth gift from the National Government and implemented by the Padilla administration, the 2nd State of the Children Address (SOCA) was delivered by Governor Ruth R. Padilla last November 27 held at the Ammungan Hall of the Provincial Capitol.
“Your full growth and advancement is therefore paramount in the overall framework of child development of my administration as we continue to rethink and reinvent child-friendly programs that will draw out the slumbering geniuses and wizards in you. Our 13-point agenda which we call PRAYERS N’ FAITH remains a pivotal development strategy of my administration of which the ultimate beneficiaries are children.” This was an opening statement given by Governor Padilla to the young people as she proceeded with her report.
First in the reports is addressing the Development Rights of children (“Karapatang mapaunlad ang kakayahan”), wherein from October 2014 to present, the Padilla administration focused on children from 3 to 17 years old.
As part of the ECCD or Early Childhood Care and Development program, a Day Care service was implemented and encouraged families to enrol their children of 3 to 4 years old in Day Care Centers in the whole province that will benefit their children for an advance development of their physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual growth.
This year, there are 9, 246 day care children and 399 day care workers which are also known as Child Development Workers wherein a resolution concerned with their incentives has been forwarded to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
And to strengthen the ECCD in the province, trainings are given to day care workers and formulated a standard curriculum for weekly and daily session plans.
Another program is the K to 12 of the Department of Education Nueva Vizcaya headed by SDS Samuel Soliven wherein there were 7,000 students enrolled under Grade 10 in both public and private high schools and based from the 7,000, there are expected 5,043 students from public schools and 2,000 from private schools that will enter Grade 11 on 2016 which will be considered as senior high school. Students in that level will be trained for their tertiary education.
The nationwide implementation of Senior High School for Grade 11 will be on school year 2016-2017 and school year 2017-2018 for Grade 12. There are 4 specialized tracks for students to choose from such as academic track, sports track, arts and design track and the technical-vocational livelihood track which is composed of 2-year technical-vocational courses with National Certificates from TESDA to accommodate to those students who will not be able to continue their tertiary education.
For every school’s physical development in the province through the Provincial Engineering Office, under the Special Education Fund 2015, the administration has allotted P1,350,000 for repair and maintenance to the schools, P6,950,000 for the construction of Home Economics and Industrial Arts Buildings, and P8,850,000 for other classroom constructions while other school facilities and buildings are on-going.
Last 2014, the government has allotted numerous school buildings in the 15 municipalities of the province. Mentioned by the Governor were the 5 renovated schools in the amount of P3,550,000, 3 restored school buildings for P9,150,000, 3 constructed classrooms with the inclusion of toilets and comfort rooms amounting to P1,004,000 and P6.3 M for 3 constructed Home Economics Buildings in Solano, Bagabag and Bambang.
The National School Maintenance Week dubbed “Brigada Eswela” project that was based from the DepEd Order No. 24, series of 2008, was implemented by the DepEd Nueva Vizcaya through a School Summit wherein different participants from the barangay, municipal and provincial local government units, PNP, Army, BFP, other national government agencies, religious sectors, civil society organizations, business groups and youth organizations worked all together for the said project.
Uddiawan National High School was hailed the 2015 Hall of Fame Awardee for the Best Implementing School (Small School category-Secondary level) and the only awardee in the region for the Brigada Eskwela National Level for this year.
In terms of Sports Development, P6 million was allotted for the trainings and purchase of sports equipment for the Novo Vizcayano athletes who participated in the 2015 Cagayan Valley Regional Athletic Assocation (CaVRAA). It was also allotted for the renovation of the Nueva Vizcaya Sports Complex that served as the official venue for CaVRAA of which Nueva Vizcaya was the host province of the said event last February 26-March 1.
Padilla highly praised all the athletes composed of the young generation that participated in the CaVRAA making the province achieve the title of being the over-all champion after 27 years.
For the cultural development of the Novo Vizcayano children, the children from the indigenous groups were encouraged to showcase their arts and culture through the implementation of IP Summer Workshops wherein the said activity achieved its first and second year of teaching children to look back on their roots through songs, poems, recitals and dances.
“Ginagawa natin ito sapagkat ang lahat ng batang Vizcayano ay may karapatang mapaunlad ang kanilang kultura,” Padilla said.
To enhance environmental awareness for children, a Bida Kid Project was launched through the Environment and Natural Resources Office wherein the Solano School District was its pilot area. The Bida Kid Project aims to teach school children on waste segregation, solid waste management, and use of recyclable materials that are given to designated redemption centers in every school.
ENRO and the Provincial Tourism Office also came up with poster making and mural painting activities contested by different schools in the province that centers environmental issues.
Padilla then called the attention of Bintawan National High School being the grand winner in the Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly School (High-school category) making BNHS a recipient of the Landbank Green Leadership Award.
The children with special abilities or “Ang mga Batang SPED” are also being considered by the administration through their needs and capabilities.
A total of 544 SPED children are enrolled in different SPED centers of Solano, Bayombong, Bambang, Aritao, Villaverde, Kasibu and Bagabag compared to the 404 SPED children enrolled from 2014.
The Department of Education had also reported that SPED education is now accommodated in secondary education and a total of 173 SPED high school students are enrolled in the Nueva Vizcaya General Comprehensive High School, Solano High School, Bintawan High School, Aritao High School and Bambang National High School.
PLGU Nueva Vizcaya through its Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), held trainings for chosen teachers for Sign Language. These teachers will be assisting students with hearing impairment who will be mainstreamed in regular classes.
Jose Ramel Espino II, who has autism and a high school student of NVGCHS, was given recognition as the National Champion in the previous “Paligsahan ng may K sa Kasaysayan at Kultura ng Pilipinas” held last July 29 at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
Through the National Elementary Achievement Test (NEAT), the development of the children in the whole division of Nueva Vizcaya were examined from school year 2013-2014 wherein the general average rating garnered by the province is 76.18% which is higher than the national average rating, making mathematics as the highest with 83.36%. At present, there are still no data for school year 2014-2015.
To support students from 15-17 years old who are capable and willing to work part-time, a Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) headed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) was supported by the PLGU and according to DOLE, a total of 1,361 students were SPES-grantees compared to the 1,570 granted last year.
Israel Sabangan, who is taking up BS Education in the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU), was featured in the SOCA for his five years of being a SPES beneficiary helping him with his school fees and advanced abilities as a student.
The second part is addressing Child Surival (“Karapatang Mabuhay”), wherein the Governor, as a mother in her family and in the province, gives a “tender loving care” and support to the children.
Under this is Immunization Program headed by the Department of Health (DOH) with the support of the PLGU through its Provincial Health Office (PHO) with the cooperation of the 15 rural health units, 275 barangay health centers, and 5 government hospitals.
Based from the tally of the PHO, from its target of 12,203 children that should undergo complete immunization for 2015, there are 7, 413 children who were completely immunized from January until September of this year.
The PLGU developed its immunization program through the support of the DOH by a mass immunization of measles rubella and oral polio vaccine last year and with that implementation and performance, the province was recognized as the 1st province to implement in the region and included in the Top 3 in the Philippines for the Best Performance of the 2014 Mass Immunization of MR-OPV for children below 5 years old.
Another program is the Micronutrient Supplementation wherein children are given micronutrients such as 6 months intake of Vitamin A for 6 months to 6 years old and iron syrup and micronutrient powder of the deworming of children from 1 to 6 years old. This is implemented to avoid issues of “underweight” children in every barangay.
Iron tablets were given to pregnant women and women who recently gave birth for few months in order to avoid anaemia that causes severe diseases on infants as well as to mothers.
With this, the PLGU implemented the “Infant and Young Child Feeding” that teaches mothers in breastfeeding from the birth of a child up to 2 years old.
From the past years, the province had also implemented the Smoke-free program wherein there are regular sessions, evaluations and monitoring of different schools, even in canteens and stores which are near a school, to avoid and protect the children from cigarette-smoking.
And because of the success of the Smoke-Free program for a Smoke-Free province, Nueva Vizcaya was recognized by DOH through a Red Orchid Award for implementing a 100% Tobacco Free Environment.
There are also health services that are being implemented for the poor on which the Point of Care program is one example of these services.
The Point of Care program was launched last 2013 wherein any senior member of a family who is sick or a parent/guardian of a child who are not a member of PhilHealth that is confined in the 5 prestigious hospitals in the province – Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Hospital (NVPH) , Dupax District Hospital (DDH), Diadi Emergency Hospital (DEH), Lieutenant Tidang Memorial Hospital (LTMH) and Kasibu Municipal Hospital (KMH) is automatically included in the said program that will help patients with their hospital bills.
Based from the reports of the 4 hospitals, there are about 440 families that were granted with the Point of Care Program last year. For this year, the program went up with 835 families.
Access to water supply and sanitary toilet are also given attention by the administration especially for households with lack of clean and safe water supply and families that are affected with typhoon. This year, there are 89.45 % of households with clean and safe water supply while as of September this year, there are 88.81% of households in the entire province who already have access to sanitary toilets.
Also in this year, 705 essential health care package kits and 335 sets of toothbrush were given by the PLGU through the PHO to 6,050 day care children from the 12 municipalities of the province.
To ensure that babies are born healthy and safe, the PLGU gave importance on Maternal Health. The PHO continues to conduct a Buntis Congress reaching 8 buntis sessions last year and 12 buntis sessions for this year.
In terms of Nutrition, an “Adopt-a-Barangay” project was launched with the help of the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) and Municipal Nutrition Officers in the province.
Selling of junk foods, soft drinks and food with preservatives to children are strictly monitored under the DepEd Order No. 8 series of 2007 or the “Revised Implementing Guidelines on the Operation and Management of School Canteens in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools. Livelihood projects were also offered to parents with children under malnutrition.
The PLGU also launched a fund raising campaign through a Tak-Bulilit fun run last year whose proceeds were allotted for the purchase of Detecto weighing scales and micronutrient powders. This year, the said fun run was again conducted last November 27.
The province also conducts Barangay Nutrition Scholars Congress to teach advocacies of nutrition for the BNS and capacitate them to utilize what they have learned to lessen malnutrition in the province.
In 2011, the DepEd strengthened its School Health and Nutrition Programs (SHNPs) to make a school more responsive in enhancing students’ motivation and capacity to learn, improve outcomes, reduce absenteeism and ensure completion. The said program is also participated in by the LGUs, NGOs, professional groups and private entities.
A “Gulay sa Paaralan” was encouraged in every school wherein students and teachers are hand-in-hand in planting organic vegetables that will augment school-based feeding programs.
From these programs of the administration for a child’s nutrition, the 6.9% prevalence rate of severely and underweight pre-schooler of 2012 went down to 4.3% for this year while the 7.32% prevalence rate of wasted and severely wasted school children decreased to 6.88% making Nueva Vizcaya as the Consistent Regional Winner in Nutrition and received the CROWN award last October 29.
Third in the report was addressed to a child’s Protection Rights (“Karapatan na Maipagtanggol”) wherein violence against children are monitored with the full support of the Philippine National Police (PNP), PSWDO/MSWDO/DSWD, DepEd and Department of Justice (DOJ).
Based from the statistics of the Women and Children Protection Desk of Nueva Vizcaya Police Provincial Office, there were about 364 crime incidents from July 2014 to June 2015 wherein victims were children while 158 incidents were committed by Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL).
One hundred forty five (145) was the highest crime rate with children-victims, all of which were in violation of Republic Act 7610 or Anti-Child Abuse Law while 51 cases of Theft reached the highest in terms of crime volume for crimes committed by CICL.
To address the rehabilitation concerns of both children-victims and CICL and child abuse, the Provincial Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (PSCWC), which is also participated by representatives of the PNP, launched the Search for the Most Child-Friendly Barangay to encourage barangay councils for the protection of children. To date, the PSCWC has already evaluated 9 barangays as municipal entries.
An upcoming “Bahay Pag-asa” will also be constructed for which this year, the PLGU is on search of a lot for the project.
The PNP was also granted 1 radio base and 12 handheld radios for immediate response to crime incidents. Some 20 units of computer sets were also granted to 15 Municipal Police Stations.
Provincial PNP Director John Luglug was tasked to assign police officers in schools, wet markets, commercial areas, business districts and places with large number of population.
Traffic enforcers were also assigned to prevent traffic during school days in crowded areas such as in Solano, Bambang, Bayombong, Aritao and Bagabag.
The PSWDO is continuously granting medical, financial, food assistance and psychological services to neglected young children and children who are victims of abuse.
To ensure that all schools are conducive to the education of children, thus improving the holding power of schools, the DepEd developed a “Child Protection Policy” to eliminate all forms of abuse and exploitation for the realization of EFA objectives. The Child Protection Policy of DepEd Order No. 40, series of 2012 promulgates the DepEd’s zero tolerance for any form of abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination and bullying of any person below 18 years of age.
In 2013, the Anti-Bullying Act of RA 1067 was enacted to mandate all elementary and secondary schools to address acts of bullying.
Based from the report of the DepEd, at present, schools in the province have formed a Child Protection Committee that takes charge of cases of bullying and abuse inside a certain school.
Drug Symposiums in schools are conducted in the province with the support of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
The Population Office also implements Adolescent Reproductive Health activities and annual Population Congress that was launched last 2013. The latest Population Congress was again conducted last November 20 wherein students were given the chance to listen to reports of sexuality, health, drugs, teenage pregnancy and marriage.
And to monitor and ensure support to students who are away from their homes, an association of Boarding House Owners and Matrons (BHOMA) was formed.
Teen Centers or Nooks in every school which are considered a “hang-out area” of students were also developed and beautified.
Skills Trainings for Children on Disaster Awareness and Preparedness, Jingle Making contests and Rescue Trainings were also conducted through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).
A seminar entitled “Nutrition in Emergencies and ECCD in Emergencies” participated in by public nurses, doctors, MDRRMOs and nutrition officers with the support of the BNS, BHWs and parent leaders of 4Ps was also held. Some 270 day care workers in the province also participated in an orientation of the ECCD in Emergencies.
According to DOLE, there are cases of child labor in the province and are still on validation. DOLE in partnership with the LGUs conducts programs and services of bringing the youth back to school through educational assistance and giving of livelihood assistance to their parents to eliminate cases of child labor. Diadi was the first municipality that was validated by the DOLE.
A trailblazing program that benefit the children was also launched last 2013 entitled “Idol Kong Pamilya” which is under the Rural Development and Livelihood Enterprises wherein the PLGU grants livelihood assistance to families with small amount of income, no vices, crime incidents and violence in the household. There were 199 beneficiaries last 2014 and 223 beneficiaries for this year.
The Search for the Best Entrepreneur contest was also launched this year which is participated in by livelihood beneficiaries who sustained their livelihood programs. There are already 15 municipal entries evaluated.
Fourth in the report is addressing a child’s Participation Rights (“Karapatang Makilahok”) wherein the administration believes in “Good Governance” wherein the voices of the Nueva Vizcaya children are being heard and acted upon.
This year, designated Child Representatives were assigned as members of the PSCWC. D’ Gnt McHeart Gandia of Bayombong Central School will represent the elementary students while Bethany Kay Lucasi of NVGCHS will represent the secondary students.
Also last November 9 this year, as part of the launching of the National Children’s Month Celebration of the province, a Little Governor and Little Vice Governor were recognized by the provincial officials and employees.
Bethany Kay Lucasi was the chosen Little Governor and Rhen Dale Lopez of the Nueva Vizcaya Bright Child School was the Little Vice Governor.
The members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan also had their Little Board Members who joined them during their session.
National Offices such as the Philippine Red Cross and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also organized leadership trainings for the youth such as the First Aid Rescue Trainings and WEemboree: A Disaster Resilient Camp wherein young people from different communities, academic institutions and organizations gathered together to encourage young people to join, actively engage, and inspire their peers and their respective communities to unite and become prime movers in nation-building.
Provincial celebrations of the Arts Month, Tourism Week/Month Celebration, National Disaster Consciousness Month, Nutrition Month and Population Development Week were also mostly participated by the young people of the province.
Through the four gifts being granted to the children of Nueva Vizcaya, the administration aims to mainstream child-friendly governance for a child-friendly province.
The administration has been doing its best to comply with the four gifts which are, the formulation of the Provincial Development and Investment Plan for Children, strengthening of the Local Councils for the Protection of Children, implementing Rules and Regulations of the Nueva Vizcaya Children’s Code and to deliver the State of the Children Address.
“Gusto kong malaman ninyo na kayo ay prayoridad ng ating pamahalaan. At patuloy nating isasagawa ang mga programang mag-aangat sa inyong kakayahan at kagalingan. Sapagkat ang bawat BATANG VIZCAYANO ay may karapatang mapaunlad ang kanyang kakayahan, may karapatang mabuhay na malusog at masigla, may karapatang mabuhay na malaya at malayo sa karahasan, at may karapatang maglibang at makilahok sa mga gawaing pambata!.” This was an ending statement given by Governor Padilla as she ended her 2nd State of the Children Address.