The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) led delegation which participated in the recently concluded East Asia-Europe Interregional Exchange on Child-Friendly Cities held in Madrid, Spain and Helsinki, Finland.
Organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) from Sept. 4 to 9, the DILG’s participation in the activity is in line with the directive of Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ C. Abalos, Jr. to promote children’s welfare through local governance.
“Children are the present and the future of the country. Governments must, therefore, prioritize the welfare and needs of children in their development agenda. After all, the better nation that we are building is for them to inherit,” Abalos said in a statement on Sept. 11.
During the activity, DILG Undersecretary Odilon L. Pasaraba presented the Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) and other measures to strengthen children’s participation in government. Emerging issues such as children’s mobility were also tackled.
To build on the learnings from the activity, Abalos urged the local government units (LGUs) to consider the needs of children in setting their development tracks.
“Being child-friendly means our infrastructure and public spaces should be safe for children and conducive to their development. It is high time that local government units prioritize investments for children,” he added.
The DILG stated that the activity featured policy dialogues, exercise sessions, and discussions by different countries on their experiences in building child-friendly communities.
Aside from the Philippines, representatives from Spain, Germany, Iceland, Finland, Malaysia, and China joined the event.