7 November 2016, Legazpi City—Educo Philippines is celebrating the National Children’s Month 2016 by supporting events and activities that are not only for children but are planned and implemented with children as well.
Local government units (LGUs) in the Provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, and Sorsogon have been Educo partners in upholding child rights for more than a decade now. Twelve (12) select LGUs are getting at least Php 100,000 each, after a call of proposal earlier this year, to augment their existing budget for the said annual celebration.
Municipalities of Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Libon, Oas, and Polangui as well as the City of Ligao in Albay; Castilla, Donsol, and Pilar in Sorsogon; and, Bato and Nabua in Camarines Sur are among LGU pioneers that champion child participation, through this year’s Children’s Month, in such a way that has not yet been widely done in Philippine government.
From planning and designing to implementing and evaluating programs for children, at least one child representative is always present. Municipal Councils for the Protection of Children (MCPCs) not only listen but encourage and make an obvious effort to include suggestions from children about how these programs can better cater to their unique needs.
Tailored to specific children’s needs in every municipality, this year’s National Children’s Month celebrations feature a wide range of activities: from cultural festivals and nutrition drives to child rights symposia and learning tours.
Educo calls for the public to reach out to their local municipal hall or school to find out the schedule of exciting shows and events in their area. Parents, teachers, guardians, and children have a variety of activities they can take part in during the month-long celebrations. Mayors in Educo partner-LGUs will also give a State of the Children Addresses (SOCAs) in their own local highlight events.
In line with this year’s theme, “Isulong: Kalidad na Edukasyon Para sa Lahat ng Bata” (Onwards with quality education for all children), Educo believes that providing quality education to all is key to ensuring children lead a life of dignity, away from risks, and protects their vulnerability from crime.
Recently, House Bill No. 02 was filed in congress seeking to lower the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility. Educo stands firm that adults, especially the state, must protect children from circumstances beyond their control. This is one of the issues Educo hopes can be highlighted and discussed during the Children’s Month as well.
Educo expects that through child-friendly governance exemplified by Bicolano municipalities, other LGUs will be able to see that there is value for everyone when child rights are upheld in the household, school, community, and government.#