NSCB-CAR reports that as of March 2012, the Cordillera Administrative Region has a high probability of achieving 14 of its 32 MDG targets. It scored high in its Goal 7 (Ensuring Environmental Sustainability) targets with four of the five targets having a high probability of being attained. The region also has a high probability of attaining three of its targets in Goal 1 (Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger).

However, serious challenges and threats remain especially with regard its Health and Education Sector-related indicators. In the latter for instance, three or only 27 percent of the targets in Goals 4, 5 and 6 (Reducing child mortality; Improving maternal health; and Combating HIV/AIDS) have a high probability of attainment. The rest have medium probability (27 percent), and low probability (45 percent).

Cited among the factors that contribute to this mediocre performance is the religious and cultural beliefs of some of the intended target beneficiaries of health programs that supposedly address the MDGs. Some do not allow their children to be immunized because it is against their religious beliefs. Some have difficulty accessing health facilities due to the region’s rugged physical terrain. Others do not avail of pre- and post-maternal health services because of lack of information.

In the Education Sector where 75 percent of the four targets have a low chance of being attained by 2015, factors being considered here are the economic (parents would rather send their children to the farm or take care of their younger siblings while the older ones go to the farm).

In all these, the role of the LGUs in the attainment of the region’s MDG targets cannot be overemphasized. This is why in March 2012, the RDC, in coordination with the DSWD and DOH, conducted the Cordillera MDG Catch-Up Plan Formulation Workshop for LGus. In this workshop, LGUs, with the support of the RLAs, identified the problems encountered in relation to the attainment of their respective MDG targets. Together with the concerned RLAs and NGO partners, they also prioritized the interventions that will address these problems, and used this as basis for formulating their respective MDG Action Plans.

Relative to this, the Cordillera Regional Development Council, through its Social Development Committee, started leveraging RLA programs and projects. To facilitate the formulation and implementation of the LGU action plans, member–agencies agreed to give priority to LGUs with formulated action plans in identifying target beneficiaries for their respective programs and projects.

NEDA-CAR is likewise formulating the Regional Poverty Reduction Framework that will seek to rationalize and converge all poverty reduction initiatives in the region, taking into consideration the region’s unique physical, cultural, social and environmental characteristics. This shall serve as the major framework to be used in the planned CAR Poverty Summit scheduled in July of this year. Another poverty reduction initiative of the CAR RDC, the Summit aims to: 1) Provide a common understanding of the extent and magnitude of poverty in CAR; 2) Identify the causes and consequences of poverty at the local level; 3) Determine problems of LGUs in addressing poverty; 4) Identify and prioritize interventions; 5) Formulate a High Priority Poverty Reduction Program and get the support of the government, non-government and private sectors for its implementation; and 6) Secure the commitment of the Local Chief Executives in the implementation of their respective LGU MDG Catch-Up Plans.

With these activities, and armed with the firm commitment of the RLAs, LGUs, NGOs and the private sector to intensify and converge their efforts, CAR looks forward to the attainment of all its MDG targets by 2015, leading to the reduction of poverty in the region.