Unicef: Robredo a champion of childrenBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–The late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo was a champion of children and a pioneer of child-friendly governance, the United Nations Children’s Fund said Wednesday.
Expressing its sympathies to the Philippines and Robredo’s family, Unicef further cited the admired official for a kind of leadership that served as an inspiration for UN agencies.
“Secretary Robredo was one of the leading champions of children’s rights and a pioneer of child-friendly local governance in the Philippines. His hard work, humility and leadership drew inspiration and admiration from the whole UN family,” Unicef said in a statement.
Abdul Alim, Unicef OIC representative to the Philippines, said Robredo was hands-on in working for children’s welfare.
“I had the honor of working with Secretary Robredo over the last two years. I found him to be a person of high integrity, sincerity with a very high sense of purpose. He was extremely helpful on issues related to children in Philippines,” Alim said in a statement.
“He took personal interest in Unicef’s work and will be missed as a great contributor to the cause of child rights in the Philippines,” he added.
Unicef also cited how Robredo gave his full support to its activities in Naga City when he was still mayor in 2000. The city, which he transformed during his time, was also inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Presidential Award for Child Friendly Municipalities and Cities for implementing child-friendly town policies.
“He would tirelessly join Unicef in its regional summits for children, inspiring fellow mayors and other local officials on how investing in children is investing in good governance,” said Unicef.
When he became secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government in 2010, among Robredo’s reform efforts for children included enhancing local school boards and councils for children and encouraging local governments to pursue children’s programs.
Unicef also cited Robredo’s contribution in forging a partnership between Unicef and the Philippines to reach children in disaster and conflict areas.