CHILD-FRIENDLY. Batac City Vice Mayor Windell Chua distributes reading materials to Day Care pupils in this undated photo. The Batac city government is among the 14 localities in the province that will receive a child-friendly award on Feb. 2, 2023 for its programs and services promoting the health and welfare of the young. (File photo courtesy of the city government of Batac)

LAOAG CITY – The 14 local government units in Ilocos Norte earlier named as among the most child-friendly in the country are set to receive the award on Feb. 2, in time for the celebration of the 205th foundation of the province.

Provincial social welfare and development officer Lilian Rin said Tuesday that out of the 315 eligible local government units for the seal of child-friendly local governance nationwide, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) declared the cities of Batac and Laoag, as well as, the municipalities of Adams, Bacarra, Bangui, Burgos, Currimao, Dumalneg, Banna, Nueva Era, Pagudpud, Piddig, San Nicolas and Vintar as among the most child-friendly places, particularly in delivering social services that promote the welfare of children.

The list was revealed by the national government, through the Council for the Welfare of Children, last year but the awarding had to be scheduled at a later date due the pandemic. “Due to the pandemic, it is only now that we are giving the award to them,” said Rin.

Among the indicators used to evaluate the LGUs were child survival, development, protection, participation, and governance, as well as the LGUs' overall performance in implementing child-friendly policies, programs, projects, and services.

The audit-generated data and results will be used by all LGUs and concerned government agencies to identify strengths and opportunities to ensure and uphold children's rights in relation to local governance in the country.

As one of the awardees, Mayor Albert Chua of Batac City said the achievement is another milestone as they were able to sustain the good practices of being a child-friendly city.

To encourage reading among its young learners, the city government of Batac recently distributed various reading materials to 1,125 children who are currently enrolled in the 47 child development centers. Each set of learning materials includes workbooks and other instructional tools. (PNA)