The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are set to be accomplished on the year 2015. As the deadline draws closer, it is recognized that localized development programs can make MDG targets more tangible and relevant to the constituencies. The most recent laudable MDG initiative is the MDG-Family-based Actions for Children and their Environs in the Slums (MDG-FACES) Project. FACES focuses its intervention on children in urban poor communities in the cities.
Tabaco City has been chosen by the Local Government Academy of the Department of Interior and Local Government (LGA-DILG) as a site for the MDG-FACES Project for 2012. At the helm of Mayor Cielo Krisel Lagman-Luistro, Tabaco City has been a staunch advocate towards the attainment of the eight (8) MDGs: eradicate poverty and extreme hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development. LGA-DILG aims to assist Tabaco City to improve on its performance in the fulfillment of the goals through the FACES Project. The project agreement between the City Government of Tabaco represented by Mayor Cielo Krisel Lagman-Luistro and LGA-DILG represented by Executive Director Marivel C. Sacendoncillo was sealed during the First Business Meeting and Memorandum of Agreement Signing at the Bayview Park Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Manila on May 30, 2012. The members of the MDG-FACES Project Core Team in Tabaco City also participated - City Councilor, Chairman on Health Sheina Marie Onrubia, Liga ng mga Barangay President Leticia Saba, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Carmenchita Dellova, Community-Based Monitoring System Office Head Ma. Antonia Burabod and City DILG Director Carlos Morada.
The MDG-FACES Project puts a human face in the MDG processes as against statistics and numbers. The human face of poverty is best manifested among children in the slums. By focusing on the children, they become the axis of change that helps trigger impact on the household as a whole and slum community at large. This project seeks to address the conditions suffered by children in the slums, such as hunger, violence, lack of protection and security, insufficient water and sanitation, limited access to education and high maternal and child mortality.
The MDG-FACES Core Team in the city is expected to craft and implement policies that will bring down development goals from the national level to the city and community levels where it will reach the final beneficiary: the child. It shall set targets, initiate actions, and provide solutions at the city, community and family levels using tools and technologies such as Family MDG Covenant, Child Progress Report Card, Family Quick Action Guide, City Workshop, Demonstration Project Template, Work Planning Guide and Monitoring and Evaluation System.
Indeed, achieving the MDGs by 2015 is all about partnership and the development of creative and sustainable solutions which can help to create and maintain the necessary momentum required. In the City of Tabaco, we will make this happen.