State of the Children Report (Second part)

My family continues to be a witness to this excellence – our daughter Joanna is a graduate of our very own Tamag Day Care Center. In June of this year, when the question as to which preschool our grandson Uno would attend, without hesitation, we were determined that we would only entrust the most important years of his education to one of our Day Care Centers. Today, Uno is among the children learning in the San Jose Day Care center.

Our public high schools are taking care of six thousand one hundred and eight (6,108) young Bigueños. Accounting for close to a hundred percent of children between the ages 13-16. We have produced children like Jennifer Ribultan who has brought pride both to Vigan and the country by garnering second place in the ASEAN Quiz Bee finals held in Malaysia. And yet again, as a testimony to our faith in our secondary schools, the youngest son of our vice mayor Franz Ranches is part of the freshmen special science class of the Ilocos Sur National High School.

With the help of your teachers and your very able school administrators, our city remains the center of education in Ilocos Sur and a shining example that has been emulated by others.

Because you are precious to us, we were relentless in our vigilance in making your city a safe haven where you can safely walk the streets or play under a moonlit sky.

Last year, we did not have any incidence of children in conflict with the law. The collaborative efforts of the City Social Welfare and Development office, our police officers and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) have definitely paid off.

In 2005, your city government undertook a comprehensive immunization program. We made sure that even the unborn Bigueño is taken cared of until he is born with our maternal and child care interventions. Our supplemental feeding efforts have been instrumental in our success in curbing malnutrition.

In the same manner that our livelihood programs are our weapons to combat poverty, our scholarship programs guarantee that you shall not be deprived of a college education because of financial limitations.

And because we want you to have more reasons to smile, we partnered with the Philippine Dental Association and we went to your school to distribute free toothbrushes along with dentists who made sure that your smile remains pearly white.

We also desire that a young Bigueño shall have a sound mind in a sound body, we created opportunities for you to learn how to swim, and play badminton in cooperation with the Vigan Tennis Club, a summer clinic on lawn tennis was held and some of you here underwent the training. There is also the continuing taekwondo classes.

Aside from implementing the regular programs mandated by the national government, your city government went the extra mile and endeavored to undertake innovative programs and projects specifically for the Bigueño child.

Last week, thirty-eight (38) children from the different elementary schools were given honorary appointments and held key positions in the city government, both elective and appointive, including that of the city mayor and vice mayor.

Our little city government day gave our pupils a chance to actually experience how it is to be a civil servant. We had our little city mayor, our little vice mayor, our little city council and other children taking over as heads of the different departments.

During the SOCA, I spoke about the success of our livelihood programs coursed through our two (2) major cooperatives – the Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives and the Fatima Vigan Multi-Purpose Cooperatives. This afternoon I tell you, this success definitely redounds to your welfare. Because you are the reasons why we, your elders, aspire to be productive and be good providers of your needs.

In Vigan, we urge our partners to inculcate the culture of cooperativism in our children. Just recently, a youth forum was held where our children learned about cooperation and more importantly, savings consciousness.

(To be continued)