Davao City wins Presidential Award as ‘Most Child Friendly City’

DAVAO CITY, May 8 (PNA) — Davao City bagged the Presidential Award as the Most Child Friendly City under the highly-urbanized city category. This is the second in a row for the city.

City Administrator Melchor Quitain received the award from the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) headed by Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman at the PICC in Manila, Friday. Quitain was accompanied by a 12-man delegation from Davao City.

City Social Services and Development Office (CSSD) head Ma. Luisa Bermudo said Davao City bested 21 cities and municipalities nationwide. Among the cities were Pasig, Bacolod, Butuan and Cagayan de Oro. The competing cities and municipalities were already awarded Seal of Child Friendly Governance and Seal of Good Governance.

For bagging the award, Bermudo said the city was also awarded half a million or P500,000. Since the city was awarded the Seal of Child Friendly Governance, Bermudo said it earlier got P20,000.

According to Bermudo, the city faced difficult challenge during a two-day validation on January 22 and 23, this year.

The Presidential Award is conferred to deserving local government units in recognition of their vital role in the sustained promotion of children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation as well as in ensuring child-friendly governance.

CWC initiated the Presidential Award for the Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities pursuant to Executive Order 184 entitled “Establishing the Presidential Award for the Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities” issued on December 13, 1999.

Davao was a recipient of the award for two consecutive years from 1998 to 1999.

Department of Education (DepEd) Region 11 schools division superintendent, Dr. Helen Paguican, said there is a demand now to prepare the city for the third or the Hall of Fame.

“It’s very difficult to get the award because you need to establish Davao City as child friendly in terms of education, health, social services, etc.,” Paguican said.

Paguican cited example of implementing the schools as zone of peace.

“Schools should be child friendly especially for those who were unhappy at home must find solace and happiness at the schools,” Paguican said. She said that to ensure friendly atmosphere they are making sure that schools are not harmful to the kids.

DepEd, which is part of the City Council for the Welfare of Children, has also implemented the Child Protection Policy that aims to protect children from all forms of violence including bullying. (PNA)