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STATE OF THE CHILDREN’S REPORT 2023 of Kalibo

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Ladies and Gentlemen a pleasant afternoon. I stand before you today with great pride and a deep sense of responsibility as we gather to celebrate National Children’s Month and present the State of Children’s Report for the year 2023 in our beloved municipality of Kalibo.

The future of any society lies in the hands of its children. Their well-being, education, and happiness are not only a reflection of our present but are vital to shaping the course of our shared destiny. Today, we emphasize the importance of prioritizing the children of Kalibo, recognizing that their welfare is synonymous with the prosperity and sustainability of our community.

In our commitment to ensuring the well-being of our youngest citizens, the Municipality of Kalibo has taken significant strides. We have implemented the Kalibo Children’s Code, a testament to our dedication to promoting, enhancing, and institutionalizing the survival, protection, development, and participation rights of children. This is within the overarching framework of advancing the general welfare and fostering integrated, sustainable, and equitable development.

The Municipality of Kalibo is dedicated to ensuring the holistic development and well-being of its youngest citizens through a comprehensive set of programs under the umbrella of the Kalibo Children’s Code. These initiatives are strategically designed to address the diverse needs of children, covering essential aspects of survival, protection, development, and active participation in community life.

Our Survival Rights Program ensures the child’s inherent right to life and to the needs that are most basic to existence, the rights to a name and to a nationality, the right to identity and those dealing with parental and governmental duties and obligations, adequate and decent standard of living, access to basic healthcare and medical services, social security, and rehabilitation.

Thus, our Municipal Nutrition Program has been a beacon of hope for our youngest citizens. We have taken several significant steps to enhance the health and nutrition of our children.

There is progress in the health of our children revealed by Operation Timbang Plus. In 2022, 1.23% of our kids were underweight, but through united efforts, we’ve seen a significant drop to 0.51% in 2023. Severe underweight cases also reduced from 0.12% to 0.10%.

Stunted growth posed a challenge, but our collective determination resulted in a noteworthy improvement. The stunting rate decreased from 2.02% in 2022 to 0.89% in 2023. Severe stunting cases dropped from 0.20% to 0.10%.

Crucially, optimal coverage expanded from 74.5% in 2022 to an inspiring 70.00% in 2023, signaling that our outreach efforts are reaching more children in need.

Thus, our dedicated efforts in monitoring and counseling nutritionally at-risk pregnant women underscore our commitment to safeguarding the health of both mothers and their unborn children. And to combat malnutrition, we have organized feeding activities for malnourished children and distributed MicroNutrient Powder to stunted children aged 6-24 months.

In Dietary Supplementation, we have prioritized children aged 6 to 23 months through the distribution of dietary supplements, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients crucial for their development.

Our commitment to monitoring the nutritional status of our children is unwavering. The eOPT Plus 2023 conducted has been instrumental in assessing and addressing the nutritional needs of our young ones. Furthermore, we are empowering our pregnant women and lactating mothers through informative sessions. These classes and orientations cover prenatal care, healthy eating habits, and essential steps to ensure a healthy delivery.

Ensuring the safety and well-being of our children goes beyond health and nutrition. The Bureau of Fire Protection Kalibo has implemented a series of programs focusing on fire safety and disaster preparedness. The BFP conducted road shows including the “Tindahan ni EDITH and Fire Square Road Show,” which engaged elementary pupils, promoting fire safety awareness.

Moreover, by creating Kiddie and Junior Fire Marshals, the BFP aimed to instill a sense of responsibility and awareness in our young minds, strengthening our community against disastrous fires. Also, the Initiatives like “Bumbero ko, Titser ko” have emphasized fire safety awareness in schools, organized feeding and gift-giving programs, and strengthened our ties with the community.

Additionally, Our municipality has launched a 120-day feeding program across 35 Day Care Centers in Kalibo, providing nourishment to 1559 beneficiaries.

Consequently, the Municipal Health Office has been diligently working to ensure the health and well-being of our young population.

In the percentage coverage of Fully Immunized Children, out of 1,701 12-month-olds, we have successfully immuned 361 children. Significant results have been accomplished in Vitamin A supplementation and deworming, ensuring the holistic health of our children as part of the Garantisadong Pambata. Furthermore, targeting 90,824 children aged 12-59 months, our RHU I and RHU II collectively achieved an impressive 85% coverage, with 7,866 children dewormed.

In our Supplemental Immunization Report 2023, our actual vaccination numbers exceeded the projected targets, showcasing our strong commitment to preventive healthcare. More importantly, in actively providing prenatal care to pregnant adolescents, we have achieved 100% coverage for pregnant adolescents with at least four prenatal visits.

In the postpartum adolescents provided with postpartum visits, in the 10-14 age group, two young mothers, each benefitting from at least two postpartum visits, ensuring both their well-being and that of their newborns.

Venturing into the 15-19 age group, 50 young mothers embarked on the postpartum chapter of their lives. Remarkably, 40 of them availed themselves of at least two postpartum visits alongside their newborns, illustrating a commendable commitment to comprehensive care.

The resonance of success echoes in the percentage coverage of postpartum services – a remarkable 84%. This accomplishment is a reflection of our community’s collective efforts to prioritize and deliver essential postpartum care, providing a foundation for the health and prosperity of both mothers and their newborns.

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Under the Protection Rights Program, we are committed to protect our children from all forms of abuses and discrimination such as protection from cruelty, torture, arbitrary separation from family, abuses in the justice and penal system, involvement in armed conflict, child labor, drug abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation.

One significant stride we’ve taken to fortify the protection and relief for our children is the operationalization of Republic Act No. 10821, also known as the Emergency Relief and Protection Act of 2016. This vital ordinance serves as a beacon of hope, a mechanism designed to ensure the safety and security of our children during times of emergencies and crises.

The Emergency Relief and Protection Act of 2016, through our dedicated ordinance, outlines the framework for swift and effective responses to safeguard our children in times of need. It is a reflection of our shared responsibility to shield the most vulnerable among us from the harsh realities of unforeseen circumstances.

One of the notable accomplishments this year is the successful implementation of Task Force Ligtas Na Kalye, a collaborative effort with the assistance of the PNP-Kalibo. Through this task force, we have addressed critical issues and taken significant steps towards the protection of our children.

One key aspect of our efforts involved the apprehension and subsequent transportation and referral of mentally challenged individuals to the National Center for Mental Health. Recognizing the vulnerability of this population, we are committed to ensuring they receive the care and attention they deserve.

The Municipality of Kalibo, through the dedicated work of our Case Managers at the MSWD, has been actively addressing special cases involving children. In 2023, we assisted 28 minors classified as Children At Risk (CAR) and one minor identified as a Child In Conflict with the Law (CICL). Our interventions included counseling and referral services, demonstrating our commitment to guiding these young lives towards a brighter future.

In terms of crime against children, while we witnessed a decrease in cases from 55 in 2022 to 27 in 2023, we remain resolute in our efforts to combat physical injuries, psychological abuse, acts of lasciviousness, cyberbullying, and other forms of child exploitation. Our focus on preventive measures and robust interventions will persist to create a safer environment for our children.

Aligning with the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s COMPRE program, we have successfully rescued four families, consisting of seven children, from the perilous streets of Kalibo. These families have been assessed as at-risk and have been referred to the DSWD for the Balik-Probinsya Program, aiming to provide them with a better and more secure environment.

Our commitment extends to education and livelihood support for those in street situations. Thirty children received educational assistance, and ten families were granted livelihood assistance, fostering an environment that enables them to break free from the cycle of poverty.

Looking ahead, the Local Government Unit of Kalibo is proud to announce the upcoming operation of the Comprehensive Youth Center in Nalook. This facility will serve as a drop-in center for rescued street children, a learning hub for out-of-school youths, and a temporary shelter for women and children who are victims of abuse and exploitation. It is a testament to our dedication to providing a safe haven for those in need.

Our diligent efforts in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are a testament to our commitment to the protection and welfare of the children in our community. As of September 2023, we have been closely monitoring the conditions and progress of children. Furthermore, in our continuous efforts to ensure the well-being of these children, we have seen remarkable improvements in compliance rates. Our Education Monitoring witnessed an increase from 94.46% to an impressive 98.85%. And our Health Monitoring showed a substantial improvement from 79.56% to 89.61%.

Our proactive interventions have played a crucial role in ensuring compliance and addressing potential issues. We conducted regular visits and counseling sessions with parents, emphasizing the importance of education and health monitoring. We also initiated proactive initiatives, such as “Hinun-anon” to encourage grantees to be more proactive in encouraging their children to attend school and comply with the conditions of the Program and come-up with agreements regarding the compliance of their children and household with issues on their payment. We have also recognized remarkable students through the conduct of Kalibo 4ps Exemplary Child 2023

In addition to our monitoring efforts, we recently undertook a significant initiative. We conducted the registration of unregistered children with PSA ensuring their records are properly documented. Also, In line with the 452nd Foundation Day of Kalibo, the Office of the Local Civil Registrar conducted Free Late Birth, and four (4) children were served for a free birth registration program.

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The Development Rights Program aims to promote our children’s right to education, to develop his or her personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to the fullest extent, these also include participation in cultural activities, access to appropriate and relevant information and opportunities for rest, play and leisure.

Our commitment to nurturing the potential of our young citizens has been at the forefront of our agenda, and I am pleased to share some of the impactful initiatives led by the Local Youth Development Office.

The LYD facilitated the distribution of Educational Assistance and Scholarships, providing financial support of P5,000.00 per semester in partnership with the Uswag Ilonggo Partylist. This aims to ease the financial burden on deserving students, fostering a culture of learning.

Moreover, with Buhay Ingatan, Droga Ayawan or BIDA Program, we have collaborated with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), in focusing on raising awareness against illegal drug abuse among our youth.

Our youth actively participated in the National Youth Parliament mandated by the National Youth Commission. This program, provided under Republic Act 8044, aims to gather, educate, and train youth leaders across the country, shaping the future leaders of our nation.

In addition, in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Aklan Provincial Youth Development Office, we conducted an orientation program on the Unlad Kabataan Program, empowering our youth for a brighter future.

But our commitment to youth development goes beyond education and sports. In compliance with Republic Act No. 10742, the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015, we conducted the Linggo ng Kabataan. Activities included the Election of Kalibo Municipal Youth Officials, a Youth Symposium, and Musikabataan – Battle of the Bands.

We also launched the U4U Teen Trial, a communication campaign designed to prevent early sexual initiation among teens. This engaging initiative aims to increase knowledge about delaying sexual debut, preventing teen pregnancy, and avoiding sexually transmitted infections.

The Kalibo Child Development Workers Association has emerged as a force for positive change, dedicating its efforts to the holistic development of our youth. Their unwavering commitment to the education and well-being of children is not only commendable but essential for the future prosperity of our community.

This association recognizes the pivotal role that education plays in shaping the destiny of our younger generation. Through carefully crafted programs, they have set in motion initiatives that foster an environment conducive to learning and growth. These programs not only aim to impart knowledge but also to nurture the inherent talents and capabilities of every child, ensuring they are equipped to face the challenges of tomorrow.

More importantly, our commitment to community support extends to various projects and partnerships. Thus, in collaboration with the Department of Education, we supported Project Juris, a Journalism Upskilling and Reskilling Initiative in Schools, empowering students with valuable skills.

In a gesture of community support, I personally donated school bags and supplies to elementary schools across Kalibo, ensuring that our students have the necessary tools for their educational journey. Also, in recognizing the talent and dedication of our young athletes, the Municipality provided financial assistance to those who participated in the WVRAA and Palarong Pambansa, fostering a culture of sportsmanship and excellence.

In addition, through the resolution of SB Philip Kimpo, the municipality of Kalibo gave commendation and reward to the winning Aklanon athletes and coaches who represented our Province and Municipality in the Palarong Pambansa.

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We believe in giving children a voice in matters that concern them. The Participation Rights Program covers the rights to participate in matters that affect our children most by providing all appropriate venues where they can express their opinions freely and to have opinions taken into account, involvement in decision-making and a consultative process, freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

One notable initiative is the institution of the 4-H Club in various barangays. This club, focusing on Head, Heart, Hands, and Health, provides a holistic platform for single youth aged 7-25. It is a testament to our commitment to their comprehensive development.

Our dedication to inclusivity was further demonstrated through the PWD Fun Tour, orchestrated by the Office of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development and generously sponsored by Vice Mayor Cynthia Dela Cruz, the Kalibo Ostrich Farm, and other partners. This event, held in celebration of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation week, saw the participation of selected STAC KALIBO KIDS, embodying our commitment to making every child feel valued and included.

Collaboration was at the forefront as the Girl Scout of the Philippines (GSP) Aklan Council partnered with STAC KALIBO to distribute Hygiene Kits to GSP Registered Learners, underscoring the importance of community support in nurturing our children.

In celebration of Women’s Month, the Gender and Development Office launched the maArte and BABAE: Art Exhibit and Busking, recognizing and celebrating the strength and contributions of the women in our community—a valuable lesson for our children to learn and carry forward.

The Aklan Girl Scout Council’s annual Council Wide Twinklers Playday, participated by girl scouts aged 4-6 from 19 Districts in the Division of Aklan, fostered friendship and camaraderie, instilling important values from a young age.

Furthermore, the recent Youth LEAD (Leadership, Excellence, Awareness, and Dedication) Congress, marked a pivotal moment in our collective journey toward positive change. With participation from 10 secondary schools in the Municipality of Kalibo, this congress exemplifies the power of unity and collaboration.

Our youth leaders, through their participation in this event, have showcased their commitment to celebrate freedom for women, children, and the LGBTQ community. They have embraced the responsibility of identifying prevailing social issues within their schools and are now equipped with the knowledge and dedication to find innovative solutions. This congress is not merely a gathering; it is a platform that empowers our youth to become catalysts for positive change within our society.

The theme of this congress, aligned with the global movement of One Billion Rising 2023, resonates with the urgent need to address issues affecting women, children, and the LGBTQ community. It is a call to action, a call for awareness, and a call for dedication to building a more inclusive and equitable world.

In addition, in the recent celebration of the 1st Bagong Kalibo Children’s Month and the Municipal Children’s Congress showcased our commitment to providing enriching experiences for our children. In a collaborative spirit, the municipality of Kalibo joined hands with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Aklan Field Office for the Project Angel Tree. This meaningful initiative witnessed the distribution of Hygiene Kits and Food Packs, ensuring that the fundamental needs of our children are met. My sincere gratitude goes to the Local Government of Kalibo, particularly the Public Employment Service Office, for their steadfast dedication to this noble cause.

The commitment to sustainable living and education found expression in the Bagong Kalibo “Mini Farmville,” a visionary project brought to fruition through the concerted efforts of the Office of the Municipal Agriculture in partnership with Ostrich Farm Tigayon, Kalibo, Aklan.

The 1st Bagong Kalibo Binyagan ng Bayan marked a significant spiritual milestone, with 15 children receiving the sacrament of baptism. This event exemplifies our dedication to fostering the holistic development of our children, recognizing the importance of their spiritual well-being alongside their physical and mental growth.

The Cat and Dog Show, organized by the Office of the Municipal Agriculture, added a delightful touch to our celebrations. It not only brought smiles to the faces of our young ones but also underscored the importance of responsible pet ownership, encouraging a harmonious relationship between humans and their furry companions. In addition, our children showcased their talents and creativity in the Vocal Solo Competition, Draw and Tell Competition, and Folk Dance Competition. These events served not only as platforms for self-expression but also as opportunities for our youth to build confidence and camaraderie, fostering a sense of pride in their abilities.

A special acknowledgment is reserved for Vice Mayor Cynthia Dela Cruz and SB Member Christine Dela Cruz, whose surprise visit featuring the beloved character Mickey Mouse and Baker Betty brought boundless joy to our children. Such gestures of kindness leave an indelible mark on the hearts of our little ones, creating memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

In the spirit of communal nourishment, we organized a mass feeding program, providing sustenance to approximately 1500 children. This initiative underscores our commitment to addressing the basic needs of our youth, ensuring that no child in Kalibo goes to bed hungry.

All of our efforts in support and protection for the rights of our children has been greatly rewarded. Thus, I am proud to announce that the Municipality of Kalibo has been awarded the 2022 Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit Passer by the DILG Region 6. This recognition is a testament to the dedication of our community, local government, and all stakeholders who have played a crucial role in making Kalibo a haven for our children.

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To end, let us renew our commitment to creating a nurturing and supportive environment for the children of Kalibo. Their dreams are our dreams, and their successes are a reflection of our shared efforts. Together, let us continue to build a community where every child has the opportunity to thrive, learn, and grow into the leaders of tomorrow.

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