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Pangasinan LGUs trailblazing MDG localization

FOUR local government units (LGUs) in Western Pangasinan have formalized the integration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in their annual investment plan (AIPs) for 2012, trail blazing MDG localization through programs, projects and budget, in Region 1 (Ilocos Region.)

Alaminos City, the Municipality of Bani, Burgos and Dasol allocated funds for various MDG-related programs and projects, intending to fully use funds over and above their respective 20 per cent development funds next year.

Roland Cabigas, managing director of the La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga) said the four Western Pangasinan LGUs have allocated almost P200 million for various MDG-related programs and projects for 2012 which is expected to improve the delivery of basic social services for the poorest of the poor sectors in their respective localities.

A total of P111, 997,426 has been allocated for various MDG-related programs by the Alaminos City LGU. This represents 35.5 per cent of the city’s proposed total proposed budget for 2012, of P314, 890,970, 46 per cent of which are dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty.

Bani, meanwhile, has allocated at total of 61,591,534 for various MDG related-programs an budget, representing 73.70 per cent of its total budget of P83,462,976 for 2012.

On the other hand, Burgos allocated a total of P13, 757,946 for various MDG-related programs.  This represents 25.51 per cent of the total proposed budget of P53, 922,077 for 2012.  More than half of this MDG-related budget is dedicated to reducing poverty in the municipality.

The salt-producing town of Dasol has allocated a total of P10, 338,426 for MDG-related programs, mostly dedicated to eradication of extreme poverty in their proposed AIP for 2012.

These AIPs were prepared by local planning, development and budget officers of the three LGUs after a series of knowledge-sharing workshops that includes citizens’ groups and other basic sector representatives.

They will be submitted to the city and municipal council for deliberation and approval.

La Liga, a development policy research and advocacy nongovernment organization, facilitated the process of budget-tagging the MDG-related programs and projects of the three Pangasinan towns as well as their integration in the AIP for 2012, as part of the MDG Pathways: Cementing Pathways to Accelerating the MDGs funded by the European Union.

Citizens’ groups took part in the planning process, including the budget appropriation after the identification of important MDG programs and projects that will best boost the chances of the LGUs in achieving their local MDGs.

Among the eight MDG Goals and Targets, programs and projects related to the eradication of extreme poverty, promoting universal primary education and maternal health, as well as ensuring environmental sustainability, got the lion’s share in their 2012 AIPs.

These four important MDG targets are at risk of not being met by the Philippine government by 2015, the self-imposed deadline for United Nation member-countries under the Millennium Declaration, which essentially commits governments to promote sustainable human development.

“The integration of the MDGs in the AIP for 2012 concretizes the commitment of the concerned LGUs to achieving the MDG by 2015, especially because it came at a time when the LGUs are experiencing huge cuts in their internal revenue allotment,” Alaminos City Mayor Hernani A. Braganza, who is concurrent secretary general of the League of Cities of the Philippines stressed.

Dasol Mayor Noel Nakar, concurrent president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines – Pangasinan, for his part said:  “The integration of the MDGs in the AIPs is consistent with the call of Pres. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, for LGU support to accelerate the MDGs.”

“The budget process for 2012 is particularly unique this time around, with the inclusion of citizens’ groups in identifying what programs and projects that they believe would matter most,” Bani Mayor Marcelo Navarro Jr said for his part.

Burgos Mayor Alberto Guiang Jr, for his part, lauded the European Union and La Liga for the success of the project, noting that the budget-tagging of MDG-related projects and program, as well as the participation of citizens groups begin to be institutionalized in the local budget process.

“Aside from complementing the effort of the national government to achieve the MDGs, the local initiative also proves that an LGU, whether big or small, can efficiently utilize their limited resources to address problems related to poverty in partnership with citizens’ groups and the communities who stand to benefit from programs and projects, and budgets” Cabigas added. (La Liga Policy Institute)

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