MAYOR Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar issued an order to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (Wash) program of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) in Zamboanga City.
The order came after the city was identified as a recipient of Wash in Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program of Unicef. It was addressed to City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Socorro Rojas, including Councilor Myra Paz Abubakar.
They were told to coordinate efforts to ensure the full and effective implementation of the program in the city.
The Wash in ECCD forms part of the bigger program dubbed “Early Childhood Care and Development Creating foundations for Lifelong Learning,” supported by the Australian government and implemented under the 7th Country Programme of Unicef and the Philippine Government.
Wash is aimed to contribute to early child development and school-readiness through improvement of children's access to clean water supply, sanitary toilets and effective hygiene education in day care centers and kindergarten classes.
Through the program, the mayor said Zamboanga City will be given technical assistance in piloting and scaling-up the Wash programme in care centers.
Specifically, Salazar said the assistance includes capacity building for local social welfare and development office and day care workers on Wash in ECCD; community mobilization for improvement of water supply, toilets and group handwashing facilities in day care centers; implementation of daily group hand washing and tooth brushing in day care centers and monitoring and evaluation of program implementation.
She said the program will be implemented in the city through the non-governmental organization Philippine Center for Water and Sanitation (PCWS), which is Unicef’s implementing partner for the Wash in ECCD program.
Unicef OIC-Deputy Representative Margaret Sheehan, in a letter addressed to Salazar, said a memorandum of agreement will be entered into by the PCWS with the local government unit (LGU) to institutionalize the Wash in day care programme.
The agreement will involve the commitment of the LGU to scale up and sustain the program through budgetary support to improve Wash facilities and annual provision of hygiene supplies to day care centers.
The PCWS, for its part, will commit to provide continuing technical assistance to the program. (Bong Garcia)