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PIA Press Release

MDG implementation in Rinconada assessed

by LS Macatangay

BAAO, Camarines Sur (26 September) -- Various representatives from the civil society groups, local government units of Rinconada (Third) District of Camarines Sur, local legislators, members of non-government organizations and representatives from the community-based organization of farmers, women and youth participated in the one-day Stakeholders CSO-LGU Partnership Conference held at the PRRM Resource Centerhere.

The conference's primary focus was to assess the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in the local level, particularly its vital contribution in pushing the poverty reducing strategies and other programs in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

The activity also aims to know what mechanisms have been extended by the national agencies, the academe, private sectors and the CSOs in attaining the MDGs.

It also intended to re-activate the Rinconada Integrated Area Development Council (RIADEC) which had been dormant for almost ten years.

PRRM Bicol Area manager Dante Bismonte said that the gathering came at an appropriate time since the LGUs are still in the process of lining up their programs and activities. "Newly elected officials have a fresh mandate on implementing or sustaining whatever programs was left off either by the past administration or during their recent terms. Chances are, they could still finish the programs that would help in alleviating poverty in their respective communities."

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) which is also on its midway plan period and currently updating the guidelines embedded in the Mid-Year Philippine Development Plan while taking into consideration the changes in the local level, particularly the implementation of the national projects in the local level.

According to NEDA Bicol Senior Economic Development Specialist Jasmin C. Zantua the recent typhoons that struck the Bicol region created devastating loss to the region's economy. "The local economy was greatly bruised with the demoralizing effect of the recent calamities -- livelihood sources were destroyed, properties were wiped off and the families are just starting to rebuild their lives again. These has aggravated the poverty situation in the region and created a setback on the goal in attaining the MDGs mandated by the government."

Yet despite of these impediments, the NEDA in Bicol said that the poor population decreased slightly from 52.6 per cent in 2000 to 48.5 per cent in 2003. Economic performance has accelerated and economic growth was sustained from 5 per cent to 7 per cent.

Agriculture and Fisheries, and other sub-sectors maintain high growth that contributed a great share in the economy. The tourism sector, is now being eyed as a potential sub-sector, being boosted with the recent alignment of Bicol to the Central Philippines Super-Region program of the administration.

The effect of population growth to the economy, tackled by Mr. Miracle BolaƱos, Population Commission (POPCOM) Bicol Information Officer, who said Bicol is the third region with the highest "unmeet needs" to space birth or limit the number of children.

Bismonte said that the interplay of these factors have to be seriously studied by the local legislators in prioritizing the services and programs for their constituents. "Non-implementation of the local officials to the mandated programs of our national government will put the welfare of our people in great disadvantage."

The Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (2004-2010) is a comprehensive roadmap that would lead to the fulfillment of reducing poverty for the benefit of the greatest number of the Filipino people. (PIA Cams. Sur) [top]

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