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Cebu News

In Cebu province: Cordova, Oslob, Talisay ‘most child-friendly’

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Despite the cybersex and trafficking cases that hounded the town, Cordova has been named “most child-friendly” municipality in the province alongside Oslob and Talisay City.

Cordova bested other local government units in the second to third class category while Talisay and Oslob won in the first class and fourth to fifth class categories, respectively.

The three LGUs received a cash prize of P100,000 each during the awarding of Our Cebu program last December 29, 2015.

Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy credited the town’s achievement to intensified law enforcement, local legislations, and ongoing campaign for the protection of children.

He made special mention of an ordinance the town passed that allows it to monitor and regulate money transfers and the periodic meetings with parent-teacher associations.

The town is also monitoring internet cafes “strictly” to deter school children from visiting them during class hours.

“If we found nga kanang internet cafe nagpasulod og mga bata during class hours, we will cancel their permit,” Sitoy told The Freeman.

It was in 2011 when cybersex operations involving children were discovered in Cordova. Victims are made to perform lewd acts in front of a computer camera in exchange for money the viewer sends to the conduit through money transfer.

Authorities have classified the same as a modern form of human trafficking.

The most recent case happened just last month when five children ages five to 12 years old were rescued from a couple who exploited them by making them perform lewd acts. The woman was caught using her mobile phone to take a video of her 10-year-old niece posing naked. The video was reportedly intended for a foreign customer.

The couple is facing charges for qualified human trafficking and child pornography.

Two months prior, 13 minor girls believed to be victims of cyber pornography were also rescued in Cordova. They were made to pose naked in front of the camera and perform sexual acts.

Sitoy vowed to double the town’s efforts against these activities.

“I have no doubt nga ma-maintain namo. Kining among programs wa man pod nag-agad og award,” he said.

The search for child-friendly municipality and city was initiated by the Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children (PCWC) “to provide opportunities for Filipino children to enjoy their rights.”

Likewise, the search aims to recognize the vital role of local government units (LGUs) in promoting and protecting children’s right to survival, development, protection, and participation.

Ten evaluators from different government agencies and departments of the Provincial Government assessed the LGUs.

They came from the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Education, Cebu Provincial Police Office, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Provincial Planning and Development Office, Provincial Health, Provincial Treasurer, and Provincial Information Office.

The municipalities were screened according to their planning and policy formation backed by a Local Development Plan for Children, Local Investment Plan for Children, resource utilization for the children, additional funds for children generated/sourced out from external sources, health center certified as Sentrong Sigla, fully immunized children, presence of a solid waste management plan, a pre-school, elementary, and high school, and alternative education of out-of-school youth.

Other factors include the LGU’s ability to address reported cases and how it handles children in conflict with the law. The evaluators also looked into the LGU’s functional committees and its work and financial plan and accomplishment report. 

The three winners will compete in the regional search and if selected, will be part of the national search. — /JMO (FREEMAN)

vuukle comment

ACIRC

CEBU PROVINCIAL POLICE OFFICE

CHILDREN

CORDOVA

CORDOVA MAYOR ADELINO SITOY

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

LOCAL INVESTMENT PLAN

PROVINCIAL

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