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PIA Press Release

UN, Gawad Galing Pook cite Maitum for antipoverty innovations

MAITUM, Sarangani (23 October) -- The United Nations Development Programme and Galing Pook Foundation have conferred Maitum with a special citation on local capacity innovations for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Maitum was honored "for continually demonstrating, expanding, and instituting capacity development approaches and innovations to the attainment of the MDGs."

"The efforts of the local government represent varying modalities, strides, and achievements of MDG localization in the Philippines," according to the citation. It was signed by Dr. Milwida Guevara, chairperson of Galing Pook Foundation.

The MDGs are a set of eight time-bound, concrete and specific targets aimed at significantly reducing, if not decisively eradicating poverty, by the year 2015.

These goals are:

  • Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger;
  • Achieving universal primary education;
  • Promoting gender equality and empowering women;
  • Reducing child mortality;
  • Improving maternal health;
  • Combating HIV /AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability; and,
  • Developing global partnerships for development.

In September 2000, 189 UN member-countries reaffirmed their commitment to peace and security, good governance, and attention to the most vulnerable with the adoption of the Millennium Declaration.

On Maitum's major gains, an awards program handout disclosed that based on the monitoring system implemented by the community from 2000 to 2005, there was a 21% reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty in the municipality; a 73% reduction of people with no access to safe drinking water; and a 65.5 reduction of households with no sanitary toilets.

Malnutrition dropped from 27% in 2000 to only 13% in 2005. A 22% decrease in maternal mortality rate and a 69% decrease in under-five mortality rate were recorded. A 52% increase in access to reproductive health services was likewise recorded.

Mayor George Yabes received the award on October 16 in Marikina City. The awards ceremony also marked the international campaign by the United Nations called "Stand Up Against Poverty."

Only nine other towns and cities from all over the country received the award. The awardees were selected from previous winners of the Gawad Galing Pook, an annual nationwide awards program recognizing local government practices.

With the award, Yabes challenged his constituents and local officials to "sustain these initiatives and fully understand them"

"Our efforts were recognized," the mayor said. "We were able to showcase our good practices."

Yabes, who is on his last term as mayor, reiterated that the community should "help sustain these initiatives."

Stakeholders who implemented and documented Maitum's innovations include municipal offices, the Department of Education, religious sector, business sector and non-government organizations.

"We are proud. We worked hard for it," said a statement from the Municipal Information Office. "We made it despite meager resources." (Sarangani IO/PIA 12) [top]

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