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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

LCPC seeks better protection programs for children in Isabela, Basilan

By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) in Isabela City sought to create and institutionalize programs that hope to bring significant impact to the communities.

Every year, the Regional Inter-Agency Monitoring Task Force (RITMF) in region 9 conducts monitoring on the functionality of the City Council for the Protection of Children, one of the local special bodies mandating the local government units to sustain the local protection program for children and youth.

At the assessment meeting, key government agencies in the city, like the City Health Office, the Department of Education-Isabela City Schools Division, the City Police Station, and the Department of Labor, among others have presented their respective programs and activities related to the protection of children.

Dr. Rafael Cabug, city health officer, reported some of the accomplishments of the health office to include some cases of children who were reported to have contracted tuberculosis. He said these children are already receiving utmost medical attention from the city government. Included in his report were the government’s continuous monitoring of children’s nutrition and health status based on weight. He revealed that barangays Marketsite, Kaumpunah Zones 1-2-3, Tabuk, Tampalan, Lumbang, Sumagdang, Carbon, and Maligue remain in the list of top 10 barangays with high incidence of underweight children.

Dr. Cabug also revealed that the city was awarded as one of the top ten (ninth place) nationwide in terms of measles rubella immunization campaign accomplishment. Among the best practices that made the campaign successful was the coordination of the city health personnel with the military, police, and barangays in reaching out to the children at the remotest areas of the city.

The city health is also implementing its newest program, the Adolescence Youth Reproductive Health with the support of some of its partner-agencies and non-government organizations.

DepEd-Isabela, on the other hand, reported that it is implementing the Abot-Alam Program that aims to provide education for all children and that it also is strengthening its Alternative Learning System.

The division office in coordination with the health department is also monitoring the nutrition and health status of school children through immunization and medical-dental outreach programs.

The city police station, meanwhile, conducted a number of information and education campaigns to some communities and schools in the city, and has utilized a lot its radio program over the local DXNO-FM radio station to promote children’s rights and welfare.

DOLE-Isabela reported that it had conducted child laborers profiling of parents and provided some livelihood support to these parents.

The RITMF team hailed the efforts exerted by the different government agencies in implementing programs for the protection of children. However, it observed that the activities are all agency-initiated and they are looking forward to a LCPC-led and funded programs and activities for 2015.

The RITMF team has urged the LCPC in this city to initiate programs and activities that are LCPC-led with clear budget allocation and being carried out with partner-agencies and organizations.

In 2014, the LCPC only met once but its members met at several occasions with different councils, tackling the issues of children’s protection and welfare. The LCPC took note of the observations and the assessment of the RITMF and vowed to improve the functionality of the LCPC in the succeeding years.