UNICEF is an agency of the United Nations devoted to serving the world’s children. UNICEF began providing assistance to the Philippines in November 1948. Since then, we and the Philippine government have been partners in protecting Filipino children.
UNICEF Philippines has more than 60 people working to promote and protect the rights of children. We aim to provide the best quality of life for every Filipino child through programmes that help them survive and flourish.
We implement programmes covering education, health and nutrition, disaster risk reduction and emergencies, HIV and AIDS prevention, child protection, communication, and local policy and institutional development.
Lessons learned from UNICEF’s work in the Philippines for over sixty years recognizes its capacity to advocate for children’s issues, its ability to influence local leaders to plan and budget for children, and its push for national and local laws that promote and protect children’s rights.
UNICEF worked to promote and protect important legislation such as the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act (2006) and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the National Milk Code (2007). As a partner in in the Child-Friendly Movement, UNICEF carried out intensive campaigns to prevent malnutrition, promote good hygiene, initiate early learning and encourage children’s participation.
The 24 focus provincial and city governments adopted child-friendly plans, laws and reports and at least 20 per cent of local budgets were allocated to social services. Fifty-eight per cent of barangays assessed themselves as child-friendly and 90 per cent of Filipino children were immunized. The country also attained polio-free status and is working to eliminate measles and maternal and neonatal tetanus. HIV and STI prevention were integrated into the package of health services. The education programme contributed to increasing the number of children attending day care.
UNICEF is an active partner of the Government of the Philippines and civil society in realizing the rights of every Filipino child, in line with priorities to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Component 1 focuses on services and systems while Component 2 focuses on policies to reach out to the most disadvantaged children affected by growing urbanization, conflict and natural disasters.
UNICEF efforts will focus on the most vulnerable regions identified by the Government of the Philippines Development Plan, particularly in the regions of Visayas and Mindanao. To ensure that interventions are sustainable and scaled up, UNICEF will support primarily local government units (LGUs) as the main instruments of delivering services and building systems. The level of engagement with government institutions will take into account capacities, economies of scale and sector issues. Lessons from this approach will be used for development of policies to address specific risks and encourage nationwide implementation.
The new country programme will support the Government’s strategy to put equity at the heart of the development agenda through the Conditional Cash Transfer programme, incentives and performance-based mechanisms.