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PIA Press Release

Japan makes possible the construction of birthing facility in Leyte

Tacloban City (June 26) -- 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.

The Project 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 this grant assistance, the Municipality of Tanauan will expand its health center and construct a birthing facility inside it. Medical equipment for the facility will also be installed. The project will upgrade 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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