Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco has expressed her gratitude to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for assisting the local government in the implementation of the pilot birth registration project that benefited some 200 Sama Bajaus in the city.
A ceremony was held for the distribution of the birth certificates to Sama Bajaus at Centro Latino Tuseday, December 10.
Climaco, in her message, reaffirmed her commitment to protect the rights of the Sama Bajaus and to work hand in hand with other agencies to improve their quality of life.
UNHCR and UNICEF are providing technical assistance to the project under the UNHCR-UNICEF Joint Strategy for Addressing Childhood Statelessness.
The distribution of the birth certificates was the culmination of the pilot birth registration project for Sama Bajaus, who, based on studies, face documentation issues due to their itinerant way of life and because of generations of nonregistration among families, the city government said.
The pilot registration project kicked off last October targeting 1,500 people in the community under the leadership of the Department of Justice.
The project is also in line with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and is a concerted initiative involving the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Commission on Human Rights, and the Barangay Council of Kasanyangan, Zamboanga City. #