House minority bloc members pledge P5M each to MDG

September 21, 2010 12:10 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Sept. 20 — Members of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives pledged to give P5 million each from their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the achievement of the targets of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on infant and maternal health care.

House Minority Leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said this was agreed by the 30 members of the minority in a meeting Monday.

"As far as the minority is concerned, we had a meeting this lunch time and all of us unanimously agreed to give P5 million of our PDAF annually for the (MDG)," said Lagman during the House committee on appropriations hearing on the proposed P34.3 billion budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 2011.

MDGs are measurable targets state leaders promised to fulfill by 2015 in order to eradicate poverty and hunger, lower child mortality, improve maternal health, reduce inequality, and promote human rights.

Of these, infant and maternal health care falls under MDG no. 5. The Philippines is still way below the target of 52 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, currently having 162 deaths.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano "Dinky" Soliman said she hoped other lawmakers would heed Lagman’s initiative and augment the budget of the department.

"Now the much-maligned PDAF is to the rescue of the DSWD," said Lagman.

Each congressman gets P70 million in PDAF yearly, while each senator gets P200 million.

The Albay solon believed that if the 272 House members will pledge a portion of their PDAF to the MDG, a total of P1.35-billion a year or P6.75 billion in five years can be used to boost the country’s chances of achieving the MDG by 2015. (PNA) RMA/LGI


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