The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) celebrated the culminating of the National Children’s Month by gathering exemplary 4Ps kids from across the country for a National Children’s Congress (NCC) last November 26-30 in Quezon City, Manila.

The activity was anchored on the over-arching theme “Building resilience of 4Ps children in Addressing Climate Change.” The main objective of the activity is to elicit ideas from children on how to address children-related issues and to encourage community involvement and participation from 4Ps children.

A total of 64 children from various cities and municipalities in the country participated in the said congress. Of this, 3 comes from Zamboanga Peninsula region.

Zyrene Nicole Cercado, 14, from the municipality of Siay represented Zamboanga Sibugay Province.

Ariane Shirl Timboligue, 13, from the municipality of Lapuyan represented the Province of Zamboanga Del Sur.

Al-Shamier Sitoy, 12, from Sta. Catalina, Zamboanga City represented Zamboanga/Isabela City.

These 3 children were identified as Exemplary 4Ps Children in their respective provinces.

Unfortunately, Zamboanga Del Norte was not able to participate in the Regional Search for Exemplary Children in Region IX hence no representative in the NCC.

The NCC was sponsored by the UNICEF as part of their advocacy to raise awareness on issues that affect children, in general.

4Ps National Program Manager, Director Gemma Gabuya welcomed the delegates by highlighting the importance of children in the community. Her message revolved around how a family can break the cycle of poverty and the role of children in attaining this vision for their families.

A field trip was arranged for the children to enjoy. The kids were brought to the national museum for a fun yet educational activity. The children were able to learn more about the history of their respective ancestors particularly on the clothing and textile, archaeology and anthropology and old ways of living.

After the visit in the museum, the children were brought to Rizal Park or Luneta Park. For children outside NCR, this is anticipated because the park is quite famous in textbooks. The children were excited to see iconic place where the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was executed.

The rich history of the place and the experience of the children was one that they can recount when they go back to their respective provinces.

The culminating day of the congress was dubbed as the Araw ng Kabataan. In the venue, the organizers prepared an exhibit/gallery of photos of children with their quotable statements.

Al-Shamier, the delegate from Zamboanga City, opened the activity through a prayer in his native language, the Tausug. While Ariane from Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur, performed an original composition that she wrote to tell her story of being a 4Ps beneficiary.

As one group, all the delegates delivered a performance that they have prepared since day 1. Their performance showed how a child is helped by the 4Ps program.