THE City Government of San Fernando's Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) was recognized by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Central Luzon with the “LCPC Best Practice Award” on May 2, 2022 for programs that promote and practice child protection and welfare amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Marites Maristela, DSWD regional director, commended the city led by Mayor Edwin Santiago for continuing and strengthening child programs in the middle of a health crisis.

“Ang mga bata ay kabilang sa vulnerable sectors nitong kasagsagan ng pandemiya ngunit hindi nagpadaig ang pamahalaan [CSFP-LGU] sa mga pagsubok na ito. Bagkus, ito ay gumawa ng mga inisyatiba upang patuloy na maipaabot ang serbisyo sa mga bata para sa kanilang proteksyon at kapakanan,” Maristela said through a speech delivered by DSWD project development officer Aple Shayne Lomoljo.

Among the specific programs the committee commended were “Mendi Camp” and “Express It, Do It.”

“Mendi Camp,” a multi-awarded rehabilitation program for street children of the city, was recognized again as it was able to continue its rescue and learning services to mendicants even during the pandemic.

“Express It, Do It,” launched after the onset of the pandemic in 2020, has been serving as an online platform showcasing children’s artistry and creativity through different works.

These include spoken word poetry, filmmaking, digital logo making, and photography. It also streams the “Teen Talks” show series that tackles several issues concerning children and family.

“Ang maipagmamalaki natin sa mga programang ito ay ang mga child leaders natin mismo ang may likha. Sa paraang ito, nagiging kabahagi natin sila sa paggawa ng mga programa na para rin sa mga kapwa nilang bata,” said City Social Welfare and Development Officer Aileen Villanueva.

For his part, Santiago extended his gratitude to DSWD and children welfare committee for recognizing the City’s programs and for working with the local government unit.

“Malaki ang pasasalamat natin sa mga ahensya at grupong ito sa pagkilala ng ating mga trabaho para sa mga bata. Gayundin, malaki ang papel nila upang makapagbuo tayo ng mga adbokasiya at polisiya, kasama ang iba nating partner organizations,” he said.