Baguio council tells barangays to keep children busy during quarantine

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) to undertake educational and developmental activities utilizing their allocated funds to keep the children busy and productive during the implementation of the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and to procure the needed supplies and equipment for the said purpose.

In a resolution, city legislators proposed activities to include reading to improve vocabulary and comprehension, storytelling, art activities like drawing or painting, singing and music that may include teaching them how to play musical instruments, among others.

Further, the council stipulated it is stimulating to encourage the children to plant, especially vegetable seeds, to make them experience the excitement of planting and eventually harvesting their own produce right in their backyard.

The Council suggested the activities should include available family members to effectively and efficiently promote closeness and family bonding that will strengthen family relations in the barangays of the city.

At present, the BCPC, headed by the punong barangay as the chairperson, is a barangay organization responsible to aggressively promote the welfare of children and adopt measures for children’s health.

Under the pertinent provisions of the Local Government Code, the BCPC is allotted 1 percent fund drawn from the barangay budget to implement the projects, programs and activities and procure supplies and equipment.

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Moreover, the BCPC takes the lead in the implementation of activities for children pursuant with the guidelines in the fund utilization.

According to the council, certain activities may be conducted by the BCPC to divert the attention of children to worthwhile activities away from being bored in staying at home because of the strict implementation of the rules governing the MGCQ implementation.

City legislators asserted the worthwhile activities will help raise their level of interest and revive their spirit on things of learnings that they may use when classes will resume by the later part of August this year.

The council admitted the prevailing MGCQ implementation continues to force students to stay at home and out of the classroom, thus, the home confinement brings stress from the environment such as boredom, frustrations, anxiety, negative responses and a feeling of inadequacy for being idle for a longer period of time, and the same can be manifested through a surge or sudden change in behavior.

The council added the conduct of the helpful educational activities should be done pursuant to MGCQ rules on physical distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks by the participants and the mentors, provision of sanitizers in the activity site among others that will ensure the safety of the children from being exposed to the elements.

Earlier, the council approved ordinances mandating the observance of physical distancing in the conduct of mass gatherings and the mandatory wearing of face masks by the people when in public places as precautionary measures to combat the spread of the virus in the city.

By Dexter A. See
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