Kapalong to bid for child-friendly award

Apr. 20, 2009

KAPALONG, DAVAO DEL NORTE — The municipality of Kapalong intends to bid for this year’s search for most child-friendly municipality, a Presidential citation to towns which have exceptionally met the standards of initiating and implementing programs for children.

In an interview with Mayor Edgardo L. Timbol, he bared plans of joining the search saying that it would show how they valued children.

Timbol said that children in Kapalong received an even bigger chunk of the mandated 25 percent of the aggregate program expenditure and that public safety programs were designed towards keeping the children safe at home and in public areas, day and night.

Timbol said his administration has poured a total of 4.8 million pesos for various programs geared towards protecting and ensuring the total development of children. The amount was on top of the more than 1 million pesos spent for family planning; maternal and child care; and nutrition. He added that, as a covered area of the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program, Kapalong operates 44 day care centers spread in its 14 barangays, catering about 1,300 pre-schoolers.

Aside from paying the salary of 45 teachers to fill up the needs for additional teaching force, Timbol reported that Kapalong has continued to support the Kapalong College of Arts, Sciences and Technology (KCAST) which has been drawing an increasing number of students.

The municipal government has also sustained its support to the Skolar ng Bayan beneficiaries, tapping 1.6 million pesos in funding from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), aside from its 100,000 peso budget to send poor but deserving students to college.

This summer, the municipal government has hired 200 students to join its workforce under the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES), providing them the opportunity to earn in preparation for the next school-year.

Aside from summer jobs, the municipal government has advocated secondary schools to implement career guidance counseling so graduating students would be properly guided in their career paths.

The local government is also giving equal attention to out-of-school-youth (OSY), extending them technical education as well as equipping them with institutional and organizational capabilities. These OSY have been organized into Pag-asa Youth Association (PYA) of the Philippines so they become productive young citizens of the community. Timbol said 13 PYA barangay chapters were organized last year and that a federation was created at the municipal level.

Last summer, the LGU also engaged the youth in productive activities such as basketball officiating workshop; theater arts workshop; voice culture and band instrument orientation; and sports activities such as basketball Olympics; volleyball, tennis and lawn tennis tournaments.

Nurturing the importance of reading, the LGU has also maintained its municipal library. As of April this year, it has catered to about 600 individuals, 60 percent of whom are elementary pupils.

While catering to child’s development, the LGU is also looking after the welfare of the abused and disadvantaged women and children who have found care and temporary shelter at the Women and Children’s Crisis Intervention Center or Sagip Kalinga, which last year served at least 100 clients. (PIA XI)

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