Davao City has added another feather in its cap after the city government received the national 2021 Gawad Paglilingkod sa Sambayanan (GAPAS) Award for Best LGU Implementing Day Care Service Category given by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The award received by Davao City Social Welfare and Development Office, Preschoolers and Children’s Concerns Division (PSCCD)Chief Gilda Dela Gente-Salvaña and Dr. Melodina B. Pardiollo, Ed.D on February 28, 2021, at the Batasan Complex, Quezon City, is a recognition of the city government’s best practices in day care services.

This is the second award received by the city in February. Last week, Davao City was conferred by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-XI as the Most Competitive Highly-Urbanized City in Visayas and Mindanao for the city’s economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, resiliency, and innovation.

For the DSWD award, Salvaña said that the city met the requirements set by the DSWD for day care services that include: one barangay, one day care center; 85 percent of barangays with functional Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC); availability of Investment Plan For Children; at least 80 percent of day care workers are accredited; salary of day care workers should be at least Salary Grade 6 or above; enrollment/participation rate of the children should be 90 percent; a low number of dropouts; conduct of capability building for day care workers; and organized daycare parents.

The city has exceeded the standard number of one day care center per barangay with a total of 684 existing day care centers, of which 558 day care centers have buildings and 126 are home-based. Davao city has 182 barangays.

“Tibuok ni siya, nationwide. Ni-comply ta sa gipangayo sa atoa. With and without this commendation, ang Davao City at par naman gyud ta sa atoang implementation sa day care services (This recognition on the nationwide level. Davao City vied and complied with the requirements requested from us. But with and without this commendation, Davao City is already at par in the implementation of our day care services),” Salvaña said in an interview with the City Information Office.

Apart from exceeding the number of barangay day care centers, 81 percent of the city’s daycare workers are accredited by DSWD and the majority of them are plantilla or regular employees. In 2020 alone, the city allotted a total of P116, 438, 551 budget for the operations of daycare services.

“Sobra na gyud siya sa sobra kung tan-awon nato. Wala man ta naghunong sa pagdungag nato og day care centers and kaning home-based, another modality nato kanang parent teaching other parent, tungod kay ang prinsipyo man gud nato nga kinahanglan walay bata nga ma left behind (This is more than what is required. We did not stop in adding more day care centers and the home-based services is the other modality for parents teaching other parents because of our goal that no children should be left behind),” Salvaña said.

She added that early childhood education is valuable for children because lack of time and attention to children in early childhood could place the children at risk.

“In every minute man gud kailangan ang atong bata matagad nato or else they will be vulnerable or at risk to different forms of abuse then pwede pud sila maging children in conflict with the law (In every minute we have to give attention to our children or else they will be vulnerable or at risk to forms of abuse and they can be children in conflict with the law),” Salvaña said.

She said that the award would not be possible without the outpouring support and collaborative effort of both government and non-government organizations and agencies, adding, this recognition also strengthens the support of stakeholders for the continued success of the city’s daycare services. CIO