PH advised to local take local approach to achieve Millenium goals

By Anna Valmero

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA— Various public and non-government sectors should take a local approach towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that aim to alleviate poverty in the country.

As a signatory of the United Nations (UN) Millennium Declaration, the Philippines commits to reduce poverty by achieving the eight MDGs by 2015.

“Despite significant and steady progress on most targets, fast-tracking the MDGs requires a local approach. Much has to be done with regard to the attainment of the MDGs at the local level,” said Dr. Jacqueline Badcock, UN resident coordinator in the Philippines.

“When planning, budgeting and implementing or monitoring the programs that directly impact the achievement of the goals, local government needs to learn from each other and from citizens who are living in extreme poverty,” Badcock said during the National Policy Forum on MDG Localization in the Philippines.

Based on national reports, the UN official said significant progress has been made in reducing child mortality and the incidence of malaria and tuberculosis, increasing access to sanitation and safe, potable water, and providing equal education opportunities for females.

“Looking past these numbers, however, the aggregate economic growth does not reflect social injustices,” she said.

The poverty index went down from 45.3 percent in 1991 to 26.5 percent in 2009, but the actual number of poor Filipinos increased from 28.1 million in 1991 to 30 million in 2010.

In the 2010 MDG Shadow Report, entitled “Winning the Numbers, Losing the War”, Social Watch Philippines identified governance as one of the challenges in achieving the MDGs along with financing, climate change, and lingering economic crisis.

“National statistics on the MDGs do not reveal realities at the community level where ending poverty and socioeconomic injustices are far from being realized,” the group said in its report.

Manuel Gotis, director of the Bureau of Local Government Development under the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), added that achievement of the MDGs in 2015 is “far from reality”.

Most of the cities, first- and second-class municipalities have enough budget to finance the achievement of MDGs in their local communities but for low-income fourth, fifth and sixth class municipalities, it would be very difficult, Gotis said.

“Most of the low-income municipalities allocate up to 65 percent of their budget for personal income or salary of the local government staff, while the remaining 35 percent is allocated for development projects— the exact opposite of the allocation in higher income municipalities,” Gotis said.

Given this scenario, Gotis said “after 2015, I am sure we will not attain the MDGs and we have to figure out what to do next.”

He noted that monitoring poverty indicators at the household level is key to generate poverty maps that could be used to address 13 poverty indicators and prompt local government units to address them.

In 2010, high poverty and inequality incidence in the country is similar as when the country started in the MDGs, meaning we are not getting better, said Isagani Serrano, president of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement

For example, Siayan town in Zamboanga del Norte has a record high poverty incidence of 97.46 percent or almost all in the community are poor, said Serrano.

The conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which is an important government tool to alleviate the poverty and inequality incidence among the poor, should also be used to map the poverty incidence at the household level.

Ideally, access to resources should be given to 40 percent of the most vulnerable group to optimize the achievement of MDGs, said Dr. Alex Brillantes Jr., professor of the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance.

Brillantes urged the academe to take part in the achievement of MDGs and enjoin communities to participate at the local level planning such that academic research are coordinated to local government units, paving the way for coordinated partnership among stakeholders.

He said the non-profit group Gawad Kalinga is a good emerging mode of development, converging point for partnership and template for good governance.

*** ( ) is a website owned and operated by Filquest Media Concepts, Inc. It works under the principle of giving voice to the voiceless, empowering Filipinos and uplifting the image of the Philippines by highlighting its unique culture. To do this, the team produces stories, video, photos and other multimedia content types to inspire and celebrate Filipino achievements, ideas, products and places.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano
    Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano

    Government troops captured Sunday a bomb and weapons factory of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced yesterday. Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said the captured bomb and weapons factory is located inside an area controlled by radical Muslim cleric Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako at Barangay Dasikil in Mamasapano. …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

  • Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao
    Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao

    Colleagues of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao at the House of Representatives backed yesterday a proposal to exempt his earnings from his May 2 fight with American Floyd Mayweather from income tax. Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares has urged Pacquiao to promptly pay taxes on his May 2 earnings, which are projected to reach at least $120 million (more than P5.2 billion). …

  • Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam
    Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam

    Filipinos aspiring to work overseas should avoid dealing with a recruitment agency that has duped jobseekers worldwide, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday. The National Bureau of Investigation has padlocked Global Visas Inc., which is based in Cebu. Baldoz said the agency’s parent company, ICS Global Visas Inc. based in the United Kingdom, has reportedly collapsed and left thousands of applicants without jobs.  “Global Visas was in the limelight this week, following its reported …

  • Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer
    Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer

    MOSCOW (AP) — The 23-year-old Ukrainian model who was with slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov tearfully recounted Monday their last dinner in a chic Red Square restaurant and their walk onto a nearby bridge — but said she did not see the gunman who pulled the trigger. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options