Tuesday, October 31, 2006
City vying for ‘Most Child-Friendly’ title
By Erwin Ambo S. Delilan
AFTER winning the title as one of the “Most Business-Friendly City” in the country, Bacolod is again adjudged as the “Most Child-Friendly City” in Western Visayas and is automatically the region’s official representative in the national competition for the Highly Urbanized City Category.
It’s two top contenders are Makati City and Naga City, disclosed Sally Abelarde, officer-in-charge of City’s Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD).
Abelarde, however, is confident that Bacolod has a great chance of winning in the national level because of its consistent excellent program, planning, policies and budget for children.
Although it is only limited to those children in the day care program.
Abelarde admitted that the City is still learning to solve the problem on street children.
Abelarde said that solving the problem on street children needs scientific approach.
This appoach, Abelarde said is to first know the number of years these street children have lived on the streets and multiply it to three years. The result is the minimum period of successfully taking them from the streets.
“So if they have spent five years in the streets, multiply it to three, we then need about 15 years in solving the problem,” Abelarde explained.
The DSSD OIC lamented the difficulty in solving the problem. “For time being, what we can do is to only lessen their number but we can not totally take them out from the streets because it’s really, really difficult,” she added.
Abelarde though noted that the number of street children has decreased to only 900 from the 2,121 street children eight years ago.
On the other hand, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said that Bacolod getting selected as among the three nominees in the entire country for the Highly Urbanized City Category, is enough proof that the City excels in its programs for children.
Meanwhile, judging for the contest is on the third week of November while the awarding which will be held in Malacanang Palace is scheduled on Dec. 6.
The contest is sponsored by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with the Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children as facilitator.