The city of Dagupan was conferred the Presidential Award when it was adjudged the regional winner as the most Child-Friendly City under the independent component city category.
Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, together with City Social Welfare and Development officer Leah Aquino and City Engineer Virginia Rosario, received the award from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, during the 64th anniversary of the DSWD at Hotel Ariana, in Bauang, La Union last February 18.
Dagupan was recognized for its continuing commitment in promoting child rights to survival, development, protection and participation, as well as ensuring child-friendly governance
The city is now a national contender for the 2014 Presidential Award for Most Child-Friendly City.
This was made possible through the city's local development plan for children and a local investment plan that spelled out the rights of children for survival, development, protection and participation.
Among the criteria considered that determined Dagupan as the most child-friendly city in the region include a policy program and development for children; service delivery for the improvement of children’s health, nutrition, education and social protection; and strengthening of local partnerships.
The city government was also recognized for its various programs and activities focusing on the welfare of children in terms of disaster preparedness, environmental awareness, arts and culture, health and hygiene, intensive medical care programs, anti-bullying policy, among others.
Working along the theme "a happy child is an empowered child", Mayor Fernandez prioritized in recognizing the rights of each young Dagupeno, and listening to their voices.
Fernandez said that it is also vital that the city's campaign continues to meet the needs of the children.
“I am happy that the local government's programs have been recognized by the region and that we are now a national nominee for the award. This will inspire me more to maintain the rights of every child and provide them their needs,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez added that for this year, different projects are planned to continue such initiative. These includes the construction of a crisis intervention center, women's center, state-of-the-art library hub, and additional school buildings.
Recently, the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) awarded Dagupan with a “Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance” for its continuing implementation of programs for children.