GenSan cited for child-friendly local governance

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 April) — The city government’s efforts to transform the city into a child-friendly locality got a major boost after it received the prestigious Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance.

The award was conferred to the local government earlier this month by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) in recognition of its policies and initiatives that uphold the protection and welfare of children and the youth.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the city qualified for the award after it passed the Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) last year.

He said the CFLGA is a mandatory audit system crafted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 2013 in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The initiative mainly aims to make sure that local government units all over the country would be active in pursuing the delivery of effective social services to children and the youth, he said.

The mayor said the audit’s parameters are: the completion rate for elementary schooling; safety measures for children in the community and schools; extent of mainstreaming of children’s rights to their core development agenda; passage of ordinances establishing Barangay Violence Against Women and Children desks;

Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth accreditation in its main health facility or rural health unit for maternal care services and primary care; a local school board plan (LSB) that is aligned with the school improvement plan;  and, 70 percent completion of the LSB plan for 2013.

“I’m glad that they have noticed our efforts in making the local government as child-friendly. With this, we will make sure that we will continue to deliver services that will benefit our children and youth,” Rivera said.

In the last two years, the city government has stepped up its efforts in improving the delivery of various services to children and the youth sectors as part of its flagship CLEAN GenSan program.

CLEAN stands for Creating a Livable Environment for All Generals towards Nation-building, a comprehensive initiative that focuses on the enhancement of various public services in the areas of education, health, and social services.

“I chose these areas because they are needed by our constituents, especially by the children, women, and elderlies. They are our vulnerable sectors that is why we prioritized to take care of them first,” the mayor said.

Rivera committed to sustain and institutionalize the city government’s initiatives that are anchored on the CFLGA criteria.

He vowed to strengthen the city’s partnership with DepEd and other private agencies to help raise the educational standards and academic learning in the city. (MindaNews)