CHILDREN are everywhere, they come in droves especially in urban centers. But not all urban centers give special focus on children, especially those in high-risk situations, unlike Davao City.
Last December 13, 2017, the City Government of Davao bagged the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities Award for Highly Urbanized City, which was personally handed over by President Rodrigo Duterte to Davao City Social Services Development Office head Maria Luisa Bermudo.
It is the sixth time that the city captured the award -- 1998, 1999, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Thus, the city brought home the Hall of Fame Award for the Most Child-Friendly City for Highly Urbanized Category.
Still, the city's not perfect and there are still children on the streets begging for food and money, sleeping, and homeless.
Different government agencies and non-government organizations work hand in hand to fill the gaps and operate shelters for the orphans, nourishment centers, daycare centers, and weekly check-ups at health centers.
Davao is a very big city, thus providing for the least fortunate is an immense challenge. It's difficult enough to provide for the homeless and street children, the challenge doubles when the poor children in the hinterlands are brought into the picture.
Davao City Social Services Development Office head Maria Luisa Bermudo said in an interview that the government is always at the forefront of the initiatives and the best practices for the children.
Today, in a society where tons of problems are confronted not only by the government but also by its citizens, how can the need of a little child be heard in the grown man’s world?
Beyond the programs and attention given by the government, there is the call for all residents to pitch in to help. With the fast growing population of Davao, agencies concerned must also triple their efforts to meet the needs.
A veteran television host said she wishes that there will come a time when no child in the Philippines has to live unshod. I say, I dream of the day when there will be no child living on the street, maltreated, and hungry, because our future can be gleaned from what our children is experiencing today. This will require our collective efforts.