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PIA Press Release

Ifugao awarded for improving economic situation

by Vency D. Bulayungan

LAGAWE, Ifugao (9 October) -- The provincial government here was awarded recently by the regional office of the Center for Health and Development in Baguio City for successfully implementing holistic and macro approach of health services in the province.

The award was received by the local government officials here led by Engr. Carmelita Buyuccan, the provincial Planning Coordinator from Department of Health regional director Dr. Myrna Cabotaje during the Cordillera Health Decision Makers Forum. DOH also recognized the best practices of other provinces of the Cordillera in the said forum.

Dubbed as HENSIPAP or the Health and Nutrition Status and Improvement-Poverty Alleviation Program, the program was launched here in 2002 and ended recently. It aimed to establish a quantitative and qualitative improvement of the health and nutrition status of the poorest household, barangays and municipalities as the foundation for the over all improvement in the quality of life of the Ifugao.

The program which played a major role in extricating the province from the infamous Club 20 pursued and reinforce the minimum basic needs (MBN) Approach to poverty alleviation at the provincial and local levels in terms of planning and convergence and investments prioritization of local and national and other resources.

"What made it a best practice is that it didn't only focus on health and nutrition status improvement but also covers livelihood and income improvement and institutional development and support services like policy support and coordination, capability building and linkaging, statistical coordination and data banking, information, education and advocacy and program management" said Ms. Jojo Mae Uyami, Planning Officer I of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) here.

The said program was initially implemented in four identified most nutritionally and economically depressed municipalities and barangays in the province as identified by the Provincial and Municipal Technical Working Group (TWGs). The first four pilot barangays were Umalbog of the municipality of Hingyon, Camadag of Asipulo, Galonogon of Aguinaldo and Langayan of Mayoyao.

Records obtained from the PPDO stated that the HENSIPAP program covered 23 depressed barangays in the province and has delivered health and nutrition livelihood and support services to the areas. From the 18, 140 families considered poor in 2000, only 9, 069 families were calculated poor in 2003, a 50% reduction earning for Ifugao the distinction as the most improved province in the country.

Under health and nutrition, the following activities were done; supplemental feeding, micro-nutrient supplementation, todok ahin, water sampling analysis, iodized salt testing, OPT, deworming, toilet bowls distribution and management of diarrhea cases.

For income and livelihood activities, the record stated that breeder stock dispersal, fruit trees and vegetable seeds were distributed and fingerlings dispersal including orientation and trainings were conducted The records further stated that there was no SEA-K organization formed in the area, as the community could not acquire the requirements of the program.

As to the Institutional Development and Support Services, coordination meetings, assessment surveys and planning workshops were conducted, the report stated. It also revealed that orientations on the program and capability building activities were done for the PTWG members and selected barangays.

Meanwhile, as the HENSIPAP ends this year, the provincial government plans to sustain the gains learned from the said program which brought a drastic change in the lives of the Ifugao people.

This program will now be called the Integrated Area Development Assistance Program (IADAP). It states " Our dream is to have a progressive, peaceful, self-reliant, self-propelled and self-sustaining community and people… our commitment as public servants to the people we are pledged to serve."

The provincial government believes that while the province is celebrating the achievements, meeting the unmet needs of the more than 9, 000 households remain a challenge. "Indicators under income and employment, people's participation, basic education and literacy, food and nutrition and health of 20.56% unmet needs is till relatively-high," the report said.

The LGU also noted the data on crude death rate and maternal mortality are concerns to be given attention. Increasing malnutrition cases for schoolers also need preferential consideration.

With the over-all goal of the program which is to ensure quality life for every Ifugao, the implementers are even faced with a greater task that is to improve the health, nutrition, income and livelihood, institutional development and special and support services at the barangay level. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]

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