Governor gets hall of fame award for helping pregnant women
A 41-year-old politician, who promoted the welfare of pregnant women and their children under “Quezon’s First 1,000 Days” or Q1K program, received the Outstanding Governor–Hall of Fame Award for social services and development from the country’s largest group of social workers.
Quezon Governor David Suarez, the youngest son of Quezon 3rd District Rep. Danilo Suarez and former Rep. Aleta Suarez, received the award for outstanding comprehensive social services, exemplary provincial governance and leadership from the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Philippines Inc. at Crown Legacy Hotel in Baguio City on April 18, 2018.
Suarez, who is married to Alona Party-list Rep. Anna Villaraza-Suarez, was recognized for implementing comprehensive social provinces in the province, particularly the Q1K program which promotes the welfare of pregnant women and their children.
Suarez described the formative years or the first 1,000 days of a child’s life as the “golden window of opportunity” to address health and nutrition and the general welfare of the people.
Under the Q1K program, pregnant women are provided free prenatal checkups, lab tests, ultrasound services and health supplements to make sure that the mothers and their children are healthy.
The United Nations Children’s Fund identifies the first 1,000 days of a child’s life—from the womb of the pregnant mother through the child’s second birthday—as a critical period of development that will affect a person’s intellectual development and lifelong health.
Suarez became the first local champion of the First 1,000 Days program and implemented it across Quezon province by providing pregnant women with adequate information and health interventions, so that their children will become healthy individuals contributing to national development.
The Department of Health and the National Nutrition Council also both recognized the provincial government of Quezon for leading the implementation of the program in the country.
Suarez was elevated to the ALSWDOPI Hall of Fame after being awarded the outstanding social protection development service awards for three years.
“This award (Gawad Parangal) is one of the most important awards that we received because it was given by the people who know and understand what service really means,” Suarez said.
Suarez said the social workers in Quezon province should be credited for making the Q1K program successful, which earned for the province its first award in 2014.
Quezon province was also awarded in 2017 for the full implementation of Magna Carta for Social Workers and hazard pay for non-social workers, a health coupon program called “Lingap Kalusugan Para sa Barangay”, a wider scholarship program and financial subsidy for senior citizens, daycare workers and non-government organizations.
The province was also recognized for 2 in 1 environment program, which involved the planting of 2 million mangrove seedlings.
Quezon province was again recognized this year for the sustainable implementation of these projects as well as new award-winning programs in agriculture, nutrition, healthcare and nutrition. Among the new projects is the establishment of the first science high school in the province and the expansion of scholarship programs for College and Master’s Degree students.
Suarez said these programs are complemented by peace and order initiatives undertaken with the help of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines as well as “Yakap Bayan”, a community-based rehabilitation program for drug dependents who have surrendered to authorities.
Suarez said the awards and recognition given to the province would not be possible without the gallant efforts of local social workers who are the true force behind the successful implementation of programs that are designed to help those who are in need.