May 24, 2024

Councilor Elmer Datuin highlighted the city government’s poverty alleviation programs when he served as a resource speaker during the Local and Regional Government Assembly at the 11th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development held in Bangkok, Thailand from Feb. 20 to 23.

Being the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) Chair of Advocacy Committee and chair of the city council committee on social services, women, and urban poor, Datuin shared local initiatives on poverty reduction, the first area listed under the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

In his speech, he mentioned the 2019 Universal Health Care of the Philippines as a mechanism to break barriers of resistance and allow seamless fusion of all health initiatives among the poverty alleviation programs being implemented.

“Baguio is among the pioneering highly urbanized cities to implement the law. It decentralized its health services by building and equipping mega health centers in 16 districts to be a community-based point of care and referral facility to higher level of health care services,” he said.

He added, “These centers provide primary and other basic health care services at no cost to clients.”

On informal settlers living in steep slopes vulnerable to landslides and flash flooding, he said the city implemented the Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment as basis for its strategic action plan towards climate adaptation and risk mitigation.

He likewise mentioned the city’s Local Shelter Plan that guides decision-making and implementation of relocation housing for informal settlers living in hazardous areas as well as address the housing backlog of the city by constructing residential units in city lots located in adjoining municipalities.

On education, the city provides education financial assistance to underprivileged but deserving students in the amount of P8,000 per semester for tertiary levels and an additional monthly allowance to elementary and secondary scholars.

“In light of the city’s advocacy on good governance adhering to the principles of accountability, transparency and participation, these efforts are geared towards empowering the poor and underprivileged to achieve the goals under SDG-1,” he said.

The United Cities and Local Governments-Asia Pacific organized the forum with the belief that local and regional governments have an indispensable role in the race against time to achieve the 2030 agenda for SDGs. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan