A total of 150 children participated in the Children's Congress organized by the Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW) in celebration of National Children's Month on Saturday, Nov. 18.
The Children's Congress held at the Universidad de Manila (UdM) in Ermita, Manila was led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The program served as a venue for the youth to show their talents and uniqueness, to express themselves and allow them to socialize with other kids of their age.
The Manila Health Department (MHD) discussed helminthiasis or parasites. It distributed cups with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and cotton to the kids.
The MHD also announced its health-free services to the 44 health centers, including the Mental Health clinic, Manila Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, Community Physical Rehabilitation Clinic, Social Hygiene Clinic, Animal Bite Treatment center, and TB Dots Clinic.
Manila Vice Mayor John Marvin Yul Servo-Nieto and Second District Councilor Roma Robles also took part in the event and gave their messages to the kids.
“Kaya itong Children's Congress ay isang magandang pagkakataon upang magmula mismo sa inyong mga sariling isipan at sariling sitwasyon ay makuha natin ang inyong mga saloobin bilang mga bata. Sa inyong murang edad mas maganda na magabayan namin kayong mabuti bilang mga higit na mas nakatatanda sa inyo (So this Children's Congress is a good opportunity to get your thoughts as children right from your mind and your own situation. At your young age, it is better that people like us who are older than you can guide you),” Servo-Nieto said.
Robles thanked Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan and Vice Mayor Servo, the different non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and city departments for always supporting and making programs for the youth of the city.
During the event, a Children's Advocacy Fair was conducted, where booths of different youth groups and departments were installed as they promoted their respective advocacy.
Candies, biscuits, notebooks, ballpens, wallets, tote bags and tumblers were given to the children who were able to answer their questions.
Some of the booths were from Kanlungan sa Er-Ma Ministry, Inc., Childhope Philippines, Plan International, which promotes a safe online and flood resilience alliance, and Manila Police District-Non-Uniformed Personnel (MPD-NUP).
The Manila City Library also had a booth where it gave free books and bookmarks to each kid.
The “Forum on Children's Rights” was also conducted in UdM Palma Hall, which presents outputs from the previous Children's Congress.