Chonalyn, Geri Lee and Ahlian are the three babies from National Capital Region who were born closer to 12:06 am of July 27, 2014 when the country’s population was estimated to have reached its 100 millionth mark. These babies were called the 100 millionth symbolic babies to symbolize the challenges for the government and institutions to ensure the well-being of every Filipino.
For four years now, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) in coordination with the concerned local government units (LGUs) continues to monitor the status of these children. Chonalyn, who is now in Cogeo, Rizal is under the monitoring of POPCOM CALABARZON while Geri Lee in Muntinlupa City and Ahlian in Caloocan City are continously being monitored by POPCOM-NCR.
The role of POPCOM is to ensure that their health needs are monitored through their regular visits in heath center, facilitate their PHILHEALTH registration and coverage, birth registration and access to family planning and RH services for their parents.
Also, part of the agency’s service is the provision of information on responsible parenting to enable the parents to properly guide their children and that their basic rights as children are respected.
“As duty bearers, we are committed to advocate that every child should be born wanted and that his/her basic rights to avail of the services from the government are ensured to contribute to his/her development,” said POPCOM-NCR Regional Director Lydio M. Espanol, Jr.
In the past four years, POPCOM-NCR was able to facilitate the birth registration of Ahlian through the City Health Office of Caloocan City, facilitated the Philhealth registration and coverage of the three babies and provision family planning information and services to the parents of the three children to help them space childbearing through responsible parenting and family planning.
“In fact, when Chonalyn was hospitalized due to respiratory illness when she was one year old, her family has availed of the ‘No Billing Policy’ through her Philhealth benefits,” shared Director Lydio.
All of these symbolic babies are ensured that their health needs are attended to by their barangay health centers. All they need is to access the services that are available in their respective community.
“Masaya po ako sa binibigay ng tulong ng POPCOM. Ang mga bagay na di po namin kayang bilhin para sa aming anak ay naibigay ng POPCOM. Sa katunayan po, ang aking anak ay mas nagpupursiging matutong mag-aral dahil sa mga binibigay ninyong mga libro at mga gamit,” (I am happy with the assistance given to us by POPCOM. The things we could not buy for our kid were usually given by them. In fact, my son has been more inspired to learn because of the educational materials given to him as gifts by POPCOM) said April Balajadia, mother of Geri Lee.
The three mothers are also practicing family planning that enabled them to space child bearing. In fact, these three symbolic babies do not have siblings yet as their parents committed to carefully plan their next pregnancy. ####