Young Gov. Panganiban delivers SOCA

On behalf of Governor Atty. Jose “Jing” V. Gambito, Young Governor Jaydine Panganiban delivered the State of the Children Address (SOCA), emphasizing the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the children in the province and stressing the need for continuous advocacy, support, and development initiatives, during the culminating activity of the National Children’s Month celebration on November 29, 2023, at the Nueva Vizcaya Convention Center.

She outlined the province’s efforts to ensure the health and nutrition of the province’s children. The Provincial Integrated Health Office spearheads programs such as the Safe Motherhood Program, Immunization Program, and Management of Sick Children, significantly reducing maternal and neonatal deaths.

Notably, the province received recognition with the 2023 Nutrition Honor Maintenance Award.

Moreover, substantial improvements to the Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Hospital’s Emergency Building were highlighted, underscoring the commitment to providing high-quality emergency care. These enhancements, beyond their structural impact, demonstrate a dedication to efficient and accessible healthcare for children and all residents in need.

Panganiban also underscored the province’s focus on child development, detailing initiatives such as the Early Childhood Care and Development program, support for the K–12 program, and various scholarship programs. The Sagut Scholarship Program, in particular, stands out, providing financial assistance to nearly 300 scholars and offering opportunities for underprivileged youth to pursue higher education.

Project EASE addresses the needs of Persons with Disability (PWD) students, while Project GOALS aims to reintegrate not-attending schoolchildren back into the education system. The commitment to education extends to children affected by calamities through the provision of assistance by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO).

Panganiban highlighted the province’s priority in protecting children against all forms of abuse, collaborating with law enforcement agencies and relevant departments. Noteworthy initiatives include Project Eva, Oplan Tambuli, and the rehabilitation and reintegration efforts for Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL). The commitment to child protection extends to Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPC) and Phase 2 of the Bahay-Pag-Asa program.

The speech celebrated the active participation of the youth in the province, featuring the appointment of child representatives and the election of young provincial officials. A children’s congress, in which SSLG presidents participated, showcased the dedication to fostering leadership skills among the youth.

She stressed the importance of involving the youth in decision-making processes, as evident in the participation of young board members in regular SP meetings. The Child Participation program also encompasses disaster risk reduction management under Project REARR, ensuring that the youth are well-prepared and informed.

Governor Panganiban concluded her speech by outlining key projects of the present administration aimed at securing a prosperous future for Nueva Vizcaya’s children. The Free WiFi ti Umili initiative seeks to provide invaluable educational resources and bridge the digital divide, with plans to extend free WiFi to public places and barangay halls.

The Kalsada ti Kabanbantayan Project, with a substantial investment of two billion pesos, aims to transform connectivity in the uplands and highlands of Nueva Vizcaya. Beyond infrastructure development, the project is positioned to empower students attending last-mile schools, fostering an educational revolution.

In her closing remarks, Young Governor Panganiban reaffirmed the value of every child in Nueva Vizcaya, expressing confidence in their ability to shape a proud and prosperous future for the province. /cqc

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