DAGUPAN CITY – The city is again vying for the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities (PACFMC) for 2017, following its inclusion among the national finalists under the Independent Component City category.

This, after the city was again conferred with the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance (SCFLG) and is also a Regional Awardee for the SCFLG for surpassing the required ratings set by the National Award Committee (NAC).

Under the category, the city is among the top four local government units (LGUs) selected from the pool of regional awardees from 17 regions that qualified for the national award.

This is the city’s fourth consecutive nomination for the national level after consistently being recognized for its commitment in promoting child rights to survival, development, protection and participation.

Dagupan City’s various programs and activities focused on the welfare of children have contributed significantly towards the realization of the Council for the Welfare of Children’s (CWC) goal towards a Child-Friendly Philippines.

Among these include the annually held Children’s Summit which tackled different themes such as Health, Music and Journalism, continuous supplemental feeding programs, paligo programs, youth and sports development, MBTF scholarship program, and the “Manlingkor Ya Kalangweran” leadership training program, among others.

The PACFMC is to be conferred to deserving LGUs that practiced and ensured a child-friendly local governance as the award aimed to institutionalize and sustain a child-friendly environment through the promotion of children’s rights.

The validators are now currently conducting on-site validation visits to the city’s model barangay Caranglaan and randomly selected barangays such as Pogo Chico, Pantal, Pugaro and Bonuan Binloc.

This was after Mayor Belen T. Fernandez presented the city’s child-friendly programs before the committee during the opening ceremonies at the City Plaza on October 8.

“The great value of what we do today is much more than seeking recognition. For us, we really wanted to make a difference in the lives of the children of Dagupan. We want to give them positive change, but the process has given us this realization – it also changed us,” added Fernandez.

The city’s department heads and focal persons were also interviewed by the validators as part of their document review during the program.

According to the CWC, evaluation tools were designed to measure the existing and updated records in the barangays as well as the quality and quantity of services provided by the city government.

After the one-week validation, the committee’s deliberation will be presented to the CWC Technical Management Group for discussion before endorsing this to the board for adoption and approval.

The results will be announced during the National Awarding Ceremony on November 20.

As the only contender of the region, Dagupan will be competing with Naga City, Ormoc City and Cotabato City. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)