City officials are urging all barangays in the city to prioritize the use of their early childhood care facilities to operate predominantly as child development centers or day care enters as soon as the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been contained and controlled.
Under Resolution No. 558, series of 2020, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, city officials claimed that in a report of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) early this year, some barangays reportedly substitute the use of early childhood care facilities or day care centers for other functions that deprived the 3-4 years old children of their rightful use even before the implementation of the Luzonwide lockdown.
Further, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan requested the passage of a resolution for the use of the day care centers for its rightful purpose instead of being used for other purposes and for the same to be reverted to its primordial purpose only when the pandemic shall have been contained and controlled.
The council claimed that while it is understandable with the onset of the health pandemic the existing child development centers have been used for other purposes, other its essential function as day care centers such as probably for special events or meetings to accommodate other barangay desks or functions as may be necessitated by the barangay, it may only seem practical since day care pupils will not be making use of the area for the meantime.
However, city officials stipulated that the existing child development centers have been funded by the city, the national government, and through the private sector donations and it is only proper that the same appropriations should be secured according what they were primarily allotted for, which is the put up of the early childhood development centers or day care centers in the different barangays of the city.
The council asserted that the early childhood learnings of the enrolled day care pupils should not be compromised with the use of the day care centers for other activities of the barangays as the centers had been built primarily to cater to the basic needs of the day care pupils who deserve to be provided with comfortable learning venues that will allow them to internalize their learnings.
The day care centers built in the various barangays in the city over the past several years are under the direct supervision and control of the CSWDO in close coordination with the concerned barangay.
Moreover, the day care centers are staffed by different child development workers hired by the city and who are being compensated through the provision of honoraria as they are not part of the formal government work force because of the limitations on the expenditures for personal services pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines.
The day care centers serve as a stepping stone for children aged 3-4 to be able to enroll in kindergarten once they reach 5 years old.
By Dexter A. See