MAIMBUNG, Sulu – In ensuring that every Bangsamoro child possesses the fundamental right to a name and identity, the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) distributed free birth certificates to 100 children in this town on Nov. 11.
MSSD partnered with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the distribution of the certificates which was part of the 2023 Children’s Month celebration in the region.
This initiative is particularly significant as the beneficiaries were previously unregistered with the Local Civil Registrar of the municipality. With their birth certificates, they now have to access to crucial government services, such as education, healthcare, and social inclusion.
MSSD social workers collaborated closely with the local civil registrar of Maimbung to validate and manage the cases of the unregistered children in order to maintain information accuracy, prevent dual registration, and eliminate potential misrepresentation.
During the distribution, Imelda Kangiluhan, the MSSD Sulu provincial social welfare officer, underscored the importance of providing children with a sense of identity through live birth certificates.
“The distribution of live birth certificates to our indigent children here is part of the continuous commitment of MSSD to promote the rights and welfare of Bangsamoro children,” Kangiluhan also said.
Aside from the birth certificates, the children were also provided with personalized bags containing essential school supplies, tumblers, umbrellas, and wooden toys.
This collaborative effort between MSSD, UNICEF, and UNHCR brought about a positive change in the lives of 100 children in Maimbung. By addressing their basic rights and needs, the distribution of live birth certificates laid a strong foundation for their future development and well-being. (Alline Jamar Undikan/BIO)