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Mayor Honey calls for special focus on children

Honey Lacuna
Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna calls on everyone to focus on the welfare of children in celebration of the National Children's Month. (JERRY S. TAN)

LET us all focus on the welfare of our children.

This was the call made yesterday by Mayor Honey Lacuna, as the Manila government joins the celebration of the “National Children’s Month” and as she announced having signed two Executive Orders both aimed at promoting the utmost protection of children in the city.

Lacuna said that the celebration, now on its 30th year, has a very timely theme which focuses on the protection of rights, health, mental wellness and overall welfare of children.

She cited the alarming continued increase in children with mental health issues, citing statistics that even before pandemic hit, as far back as in 2015, mental health had been recorded as the second primary causes of thousands of suicide-related deaths among youngsters.

“Maraming kaso ng depression na nasa high school ay pawang may kinalaman sa exposure sa social media. Maging ang COVID ay nakaapekto. Dahil na rin sa mga problemang ibinungg ng mga pangyayari sa kasagsagan ng pandemya, paulit-ulit na lockdown, nawalan ng pagkakataon ang mga kabataan na lumabas, makihalubilo at magkaroon ng mga gawain,” Lacuna said.

With the restrictions slowly easing up and normalcy being restored gradually, Lacuna said that everybody’s way of life is likewise beginning to go back to how they were during the pre-pandemic times.

“Now is our chance to focus on the state of our children,” she said, as she cited that the Manila Council for the Protection of Children has already laid out programs aimed at providing measures to protect and promote the rights of children.

Among these, Lacuna said, is the holding of capacity building among children representatives in March, the establishment of district multi-disciplinary teams that held an orientation in April and the trainingn of ten barangay councils regarding the protection of children.

The lady mayor also announced that she signed Executive Orders No. 40 and 41 in September, for the protection of street children and the new composition of the Manila Council for Protection of Children, respectively.

This month’s celebration, she said, aims to instill the need to keep protecting children’s rights, as she bared that the city of Manila now has 24,297 kids studying in daycare while 2,308 have been given educational assistance and 3374 victims of child abuse have been helped.

She thanked the private organizations which have been helping the government of Manila with its programs for the youth.

“We all should be a part of promoting the imptant advocacy of protecting children, as they are the hope of our country’s future. Gabayan, alalayan, turuan at pakaingatan natin sila,” said Lacuna.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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