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.

  • Muslim group calls for universal peace
    Muslim group calls for universal peace

    As predominantly Catholic Philippines and the rest of the Christian world observe the Holy Week, peace advocates like the Young Muslim Professionals Network (YMPN) are appealing to Filipinos of various creeds and persuasion to embrace the universal message of kindness, love and peace. The group issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident where members of the rebel group killed 44 police commandos on a …

  • Ex-WB exec pushes BBL passage
    Ex-WB exec pushes BBL passage

    A former World Bank official has warned of dire consequences for the Philippines if the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is not passed into law. Nigel Roberts, former director on conflict, security and development, said that more conflict could occur without the BBL. “It takes about 15 years to get back to pre-conflict GDP growth rates, and 20 years for trade to recover,” Roberts said in his blog at the World Bank website. The World Bank estimated that economic losses amounted to $10 …

  • Despite typhoon, summer is here
    Despite typhoon, summer is here

    Super Typhoon Chedeng roared toward Luzon as the weather bureau announced the official start of summer in the country yesterday. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced yesterday the official start of the dry or summer season in the country due to the termination of the cold northeast monsoon. “The general public is advised to take precautionary measures to minimize heat stress and take note of the need in optimizing the daily use of …

  • Noy told: Just answer the questions
    Noy told: Just answer the questions

    Just answer the 20 questions. The Makabayan bloc of seven party-list representatives made this appeal to President Aquino yesterday after his spokesman claimed the Chief Executive has already answered most of the questions posed by the militant lawmakers regarding the Mamasapano incident. For instance, he said the President has not yet explained why he allowed then suspended Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima to take the lead in Oplan Exodus or the mission to …

  • DFA: Malaysia paying rent for Sabah
    DFA: Malaysia paying rent for Sabah

    Malaysia does not acknowledge the Philippine claim over Sabah but the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) maintained yesterday that the Malaysian government is paying rent for Sabah, indicating it rightfully belongs to the Philippines. The Malay Mail Online reported that Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Malaysia has not and does not acknowledge the Philippine claim over Sabah when asked by media about the reported offer of the Philippine government to downgrade its Sabah …

  • 63 OFWs returning from Yemen
    63 OFWs returning from Yemen

    Sixty-three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are set to return home from war-torn Yemen, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday. Baldoz said the licensed recruiters of the OFWs have assured the government of their immediate repatriation. Administrator Hans Cacdac of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has ordered the recruitment agencies to fulfill their obligation to bring home the OFWs. Baldoz called on Filipinos still in Yemen to avail themselves of the government’s …

  • Jinggoy gets furlough for shoulder checkup
    Jinggoy gets furlough for shoulder checkup

    Despite opposition from ombudsman lawyers, the Sandiganbayan yesterday granted detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s request to undergo a medical checkup at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital. Estrada was allowed to undergo a medical examination for pain in his left shoulder from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The senator was ordered to shoulder the expenses incurred by the Philippine National Police in  escorting him. In a pleading filed Monday with the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division, Estrada’s lawyers …

  • Tekken’s Josie Rizal gets flak
    Tekken’s Josie Rizal gets flak

    A professor of the University of the Philippines yesterday hit the portrayal of a Filipino character, whose name was based on Jose Rizal, in a Japanese-produced video game. “(It’s) offensive and unsuited for a big company like Bandai because they have the money to do research,” Gonzalo Campoamor II, professor of Life and Works of Rizal in UP Diliman, told The STAR. Japanese giant Namco Bandai recently introduced Josie Rizal, the first Filipino character in the popular fighting game franchise …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options