Aside from the National Statistics Month, Indigenous People’s Month and Elderly Filipino Week, the National Children’s Month is also celebrated on October annually.
Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 267, series of 1993, the country celebrates the month of October of every year as the National Children’s Month. This is to emphasize the role of the child within the Filipino family and in nation-building.
This year’s celebration focuses on poverty with the theme “Kahirapan Wakasan, Karapatan ng Bata Ipaglaban!”. It highlights the continuous need in alleviating poverty to push for the children’s rights.
As the lead agency in social protection, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has been implementing programs and services that help address the needs of children including Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Supplementary Feeding Program among others.
In the Cordillera Administrative Region, there are around 251,604 poor children or 51.1% of the total poor individuals identified by the Listahanan (formerly known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction or NHTS-PR of the DSWD). These children are the priority beneficiaries of the Department’s programs and services.
On the other hand, centers and institutions managed by the DSWD also cater to the needs of the abused and neglected children and Children in Conflict with the Law. In the region, there are three institutions namely the Regional Haven for Women and Girls, Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) and Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth (RRCY) which are operating to address the needs of these children.
As of October 2013, a total of 180 clients have been served by the centers and institutions since January 2013. There are still 18 residents in the Regional Haven, 28 residents being catered in RSCC and 14 residents being served in RRCY.
In relation to the Children’s Month Celebration and at the same time 14th year Anniversary of the Regional Haven, residents of the centers have set activities to commemorate these events.
The Regional Haven is having its Open House from 8 am to 5 pm until 31 October 2013. Products made by the residents of the center are already displayed and sold in front of the Regional Haven. Proceeds from the Open House will go to the residents of the center.
Aside from the Open House, residents from the Regional Haven, RSCC, and RRCY will be having their hiking activity at Mount Sto. Tomas here in Baguio City. Social Worker Mae Aromin said that this activity will expose the residents to the environment as well as help the residents release stress. A mass baptism will also be conducted at the RSCC. The children will also be able to visit a recreation center still in Baguio City.
The Children’s Month and the Anniversary celebration will be highlighted by a stress de-briefing cum socialization activity which will be attended by the centers’ residents. The said activity will provide opportunity for the children to exercise their social skills. “The activities set for the residents are for the children to enjoy their childhood despite the challenges they have experienced.” Aromin added.
The centers and institutions under the DSWD provide programs and services to children who have been victims of abuse, violence, and neglect. Among the services given by these institutions include home life, psychological, educational, health, foster care, recreational, spiritual, social, medical, and legal services. Aside from these, the RRCY which caters to Children in Conflict with the Law also provides rehabilitation services to the children under their custody. # DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, NFGV