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PIA Press Release

Japan turns over new birthing facility to Tanauan, Leyte LGU

Tacloban City (April 27) -- In support of the country's achievement of its Millennium Development Goals particularly the lowering of infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality rate, the Japanese government is set to formally turn-over and inaugurate a newly-constructed birthing facility to the local government of Tanauan, Leyte today at about 9:30 in the morning.

Mayor Roque Tiu said that the Turn-Over Ceremony and Blessing of the Birthing Facility of the Municipality of Tanauan, Leyte, will start with the offering of the Holy Mass which will be officiated by Msgr. Alex Opiniano, the Parish Priest of the Assumption of Our Lady Parish.

This will be followed by the unveiling of the plaque and ribbon cutting by Hon. Tomochika Uyama, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines; the blessing and a walk through the birthing facility.

The program proper will be done at the Tanauan Town Hall where Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and DOH Director Edgardo Gonzaga are expected to deliver their respective messages.

The ceremonial turn-over will follow with a message from Hon. Uyama and an acceptance speech by Mayor Roque A. Tiu.

It would be recalled that Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura and Tanauan, Leyte Mayor Roque Andrade Tiu signed the grant contract for the construction of birthing facility in the municipality of Tanauan, Leyte" on June 24, 2009 at the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

The Project which is funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects amounts to US$ 62,135, approximately 3 Million Pesos at P48/USD and is in support to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals of the country, particularly on the lowering of infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality rate.

The Philippine Government through the Department of Health has promoted delivery in hospitals or health centers with well-equipped birthing facilities in order to lower infant and maternal mortality rate.

Pregnant women cannot avoid various risks when they deliver in their homes. Without proper medical kits and professional doctors and nurses, women are not assured of safe delivery especially in case complication or emergency.

In granting the assistance, the Japanese Embassy noted that in the Municipality of Tanauan, community health workers have actively encouraged pregnant women to deliver in hospitals or health centers with birthing facilities, but only 40 percent of them use hospitals or health centers while remaining 60 percent choose to deliver at their homes.

The main reason for the high rate of home-based delivery is lack of birthing facility in the health center in the municipality. Many people cannot afford travel expenses to the Provincial Hospital which is the closest birthing facility for people in Tanauan, nor the expenses for delivery in the hospital.

With the grant assistance, the Municipality of Tanauan expanded its health center and constructed a birthing facility. Medical equipment for the facility was also installed. The project upgraded the capacity of the health center to provide appropriate and accessible medical services for pregnant women in Tanauan.

The Grant Assistance for Human Security Project was launched in the Philippines in 1989 to reduce poverty and help various communities engaged in grassroots level activities.

Since then until 2009, more than 400 small-scale grassroots projects funded by GGP, ranging in cost from roughly PhP 1 to 4 million, have been implemented by NGOs, local government units, and other non-profit organizations. The total grant for these projects so far amounts to US$ 17,418,724, approximately 800 Million Pesos at P48/USD. (PIA 8) [top]

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