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.

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

  • APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda
    APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda

    Trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Boracay, Aklan agreed yesterday to endorse the proposed Boracay Action Agenda to the member countries’ leaders, presenting opportunities for global trade for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who also served as chairman, said ministers agreed to recommend the adoption of the …

  • Talks with China over sea row urged
    Talks with China over sea row urged

    The Philippines should engage China in bilateral talks in its efforts to maintain peace and order at the disputed West Philippine Sea, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday. Escudero supports the government’s move to bring the issue before international arbitration but also stressed the need for the Philippines to pursue talks with China. Escudero made the statement after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. …

  • House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills
    House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills

    The House committee on national defense is deliberating on a measure mandating the regular conduct of disaster risk reduction drills in educational institutions nationwide. Authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., the bill mandates that risk reduction drills be held annually in all educational institutions throughout the country in coordination with the schools’ respective local government units. “The Philippines’ location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator …

  • PCSO running out of funds
    PCSO running out of funds

    Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Ireneo Maliksi has admitted that the revenue-generating agency is running out of funds as it continues with its mandate to provide financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. Aside from providing financial help to individual recipients, Maliksi cited at least 13 laws that mandates the PCSO to provide mandatory contribution to different government agencies. Just last week, PCSO released P100 million to the Commission on Higher Education as …

  • Cops receive mid-year bonus
    Cops receive mid-year bonus

    Active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)have received their mid-year bonuses. The PNP has released P1.9 billion for the mid-year bonus of the 155,000 active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. The Directorate for Comptrollership released P1,933,664,893.50 through the Finance Service and subsequently credited to the individual ATM payroll accounts of active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. …

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options