On January 27, 2023, Mayor Warren R. Pabillaran marked a significant milestone for young children by signing a new ordinance aimed at supporting their development during the critical first 1000 days of life.

The ordinance, which was approved by the Sangguniang Panglungsod (SP) last week, provides funding for early childhood education and health programs for families with young children.

The ceremonial signing was held at People’s Hall, City Hall, and was attended by Mayor Pabillaran, City Councilor Niko P. Aldeguer, City Councilor Brian T. Flores, City Health Officer II, Dr. Dennis P. Sangalang, and CNAO Eza Canonigo.

Also in attendance were Punong Barangays, the Health Coordinating Council, rural health midwives, barangay health workers, Federated-Malaybalay BNS Association Officers, and mothers with young children.

At the start of the program, SP Secretary, Atty. Phoebe Hidalgo, opened the ceremony by sharing through a multi-media presentation on the city ordinance entitled, “An Ordinance Providing Strategic Focus on Nutrition for the First 1000 Days of Life Through a Strengthened and Integrated Program for Maternal/New Born and Child Health and Nutrition for the City of Malaybalay and Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes.”

Councilor Aldeguer, who authored the ordinance, welcomed the attendees by addressing the importance of supporting children during the first 1000 days of life, a period crucial to their growth and development.

“Kani nga balaod nanginahanglan ug supporta gikan sa barangay, ug sa katawhan. Hinaot nga pinaagi ani nga balaod ma-integrate ang angayan, sakto ug bag-ong pamaagi sa pagpadako sa mga kabataan. Wala pud mi laing pangayoong suporta kundi ang dedikasyon sa tanang katawhan para mawala ang malnutrisyon sa tibook syudad sa Malaybalay,” he said.

In his message, Mayor Pabillaran reiterates his support for the new ordinance by emphasizing the importance of early childhood education and health programs.

“The City Government must fund this ordinance, kay dili man ni para sa atoa; this is for the next generation. No child should be abandoned, makwartahan man, or wala kaayo dapat alimahan,” Mayor Pabillaran said.

City Health Officer II, Dr. Sangalang, spoke next, highlighting the importance of nutrition and health programs in the early childhood stage.

During his talk, he stated that the first 1000 days of life are critical to a child’s future success. He also added that by investing in our young children, we’re investing in the future of our city.

The ceremony concluded with Mayor Pabillaran signing the ordinance into law. After the signing, the breastfeeding mothers, who had willingly donated their extra stash of milk in the previous months for those babies in need, were recognized and received certificates of appreciation.

The attendees praised the city officials for their efforts in supporting young children and expressed their gratitude for the new resources and support.

The ceremonial signing of the new ordinance was a significant event in the life of the community, marking a commitment in supporting the first 1000 days of life and ensuring that young children have the resources and support they need to thrive.

With its funding for early childhood education and health programs, the city hopes to give every child the best start in life and build a brighter future for all.

By: City Health Office – NADA (JNMV)