Two good news items reported last week deserve to be highlighted.
First is the passage of the ordinance “Mandating the Regularization of All Privately Owned Early Childhood Care Development Centers.”
Prior to the ordinance, private childhood care centers are outside the purview of the government. These include pre-schools, nursery, and playschools. The legislation requires them to register first with the City Social Services and Development Office before getting their business and mayor’s permits.
Councilor Avegayle Ortiz-Omalza, chair of the committee on women, children and family relations, said the ordinance is aimed at evaluating the standards in the quality care provided by these private institutions on children ages 0-4 years old.
There’s a basis for the ordinance and that is the National Law Early Years Act of 2013, which seeks to enhance the country’s Early Childhood Care and Development System as it recognizes the role of teachers, tutors, mentors, and educators in the crucial first 0-8 years, or the formative years of children.
Both the ordinance and the 2013 law ensure that these private schools are following the standards set by the Department of Education.
Meanwhile, Davao City will become the first local government unit in the country to pursue alternative measures to help smokers.
Dr. Ashley Lopez, Anti-Smoking Task Force chief, said Mayor Sara Duterte already approved the allocation of P500,000 in the first quarter to purchase nicotine gums, patches, and lozenges as part of the nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) program.
She said they already tested the NRT and the initial results were very encouraging. They are just waiting for the money to be released before going to the full implementation phase.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that NRT is one of the more effective smoking-cessation techniques today. The process works by giving the individual small amounts of nicotine while slowly weaning them away by gradually taking away the strong craving to smoke.
If Davao City’s experiment with NRT works, this can be replicated to the other LGUs. Hopefully, the program can make a dent on the 17 million Filipino smokers who couldn’t quit.