LGUs urged to take lead in realization of MDGs

Published by rudy Date posted on October 25, 2010

Local government units (LGUs) have significant roles when it comes to the realization of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN-MDGs) where the Philippines is a signatory.

In a round table discussion with members of the media Friday, Estela Paredes of the Knowledge Management Division (KMD) of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) emphasized that it is the LGUs that implement the target at the local level.

Specifically, she underscored their participation in terms of their intervention on health like giving immunization and the augmentation of teachers, school facilities and scholarships to meet the goal on education.

“We would be able to improve our performance if all levels of government most especially from the barangay up to the national government with the help of the private sector help each other,” Paredes said.

She added that they intend to prepare the performance of each province which will be presented at the Regional Development Council (RDC) so that local chief executives would know how far they are in the 2015 target.

The latest monitoring conducted by the NEDA showed that Western Visayas is lagging behind in so far as four MDGs are concerned, which are the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal coverage of primary education, reduction of child mortality and improved maternal health care.

The poverty incidence in the region according to the data from the National Statistical and Coordination Board (NSCB) was at 31.1 percent. The province of Antique has the highest incidence at 43 percent; Aklan, 42.6 percent; Guimaras, 35.2 percent; Negros Occidental, 33. 4 percent; Capiz, 24.3 and Iloilo 24. 1 percent.

Meanwhile, in terms of education, the Department of Education’s (DepEd) eight schools division from Western Visayas are at the bottom among the 40 divisions all over the country in 2009.

The figure that was released this year covers key performance indicators, she added.

Meanwhile, for the school year 2007-2008, the dropout rate among elementary pupils was at 2.43 percent or equivalent of 23,925 pupils and 6.63 percent for secondary which is equivalent to 31,781 students.

Paredes identified poverty, health, health and nutrition, accessibility to education facilities and child labor especially in Negros Occidental as factors.

In terms of child mortality, Western Visayas has a highest rate compared with the national rate per 1,000 live births. In 2008, the country’s infant mortality rate for children under five years old was 34 while the region has 43 for every 1,000 live births.

Mortality rate for infants as was at 25 per 1,000 live births at the national while Western Visayas recorded 39 deaths.

On the other hand, the maternal mortality rate per 1,000 live births in 2009 was at 68.47 percent.

Nonetheless, the region’s performance in terms of developing global partnership for development was good.

Paredes added that there is a big chance that the region would be able to meet the goal for other indicators to include promotion of gender equality and empowerment, combating of Human Immuno Virus-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS), malaria and others and ensuring environmental sustainability.

As a signatory to the UN-MDG, the country is supposed to meet 50 percent of the target indicators by 2015.*PNA

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