DAGUPAN CITY – The city of Dagupan is now planning to expand its child-friendly initiatives in the barangays, following a meeting by the Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) with the local government and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) at CSI Stadia on July 3.

Attended by the city’s department heads and barangay captains, the meeting aimed to orient the barangay councils on the functions and responsibilities of the LCPC’s counterpart in the barangays.

Topics focusing on child protection such as the rights of the Filipino children, Republic Act 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” and Republic Act 9262 or “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004” were also discussed during the meeting.

DILG Provincial Director Agnes De Leon disclosed how the expansion of the child-friendly programs in the barangays could help in the preparation of the Council for the Welfare of Children’s (CWC) evaluation for the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities.

With Dagupan being conferred as child-friendly city national finalist for three consecutive years, De Leon expressed confidence that with the help of the BCPC’s commitment, the city may finally be bestowed the coveted award.

In the same occasion, a presentation on the LCPC’s accomplishments last year was made by Officer-in-Charge of the City Planning and Development Office Engr. Josephine Corpuz, while DILG City Director Melinda Buada discussed the responsibilities of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children.

Meanwhile, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, in her message, stressed the importance of learning and understanding children’s rights.

“The children have always been our city’s priority. And it is important for us to know the rights of our children because this will be the guide not just for the city, but for each barangay, so we will be able to know what we can do for the youth,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez also discussed the local government’s initiatives in line with upholding the basic rights of the children such as constructing more educational infrastructures, establishing an “Anti-Bullying” hotline and launching programs such as “Lehitimo Ako, Batang Dagupeno”, “Manlingkor Ya Kalangweran” and “Junior Health Advocates”. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)