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Friday, November 03, 2006

RP Exceeds Target: 2.4 Million Filipinos Stood Up Against Poverty

Lets Stand Up Against Poverty!

Oct.18, Manila--- In a feisty show of unity and strength, 2,411,121 Filipinos from Baguio in Northern Luzon to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in Southern Mindanao joined the Tumayo Tayo Pilipinas Campaign (Stand Up Against Poverty) in numerous events held by the UN System in the Philippines and its partners from the government, non-government organizations, private sector, academe and media on the eve of Oct. 15 up until the eve of Oct. 16.

The UN in the Philippines and its partners had initially aimed to have at least 1 million Filipinos joining the campaign. Instead, they breezed past their target by 100% at the close of counting on Oct. 16. Even after the official receipt of reports from across the country had ended, numerous organizations still continued to send in their attendance reports, signifying huge support from various stakeholders from all walks of life.

Stand Up Against Poverty, the rallying event of the United Nations’ Millennium Campaign to raise awareness on the Millennium Development Goals, now holds the official record title in the Guinness World Record for having the most number of people to “Stand Up Against Poverty” in 24 hours on 15-16 October with a total of 23,542,614 people from 87 countries who participated in 11,646 events around the globe.

The bulk of the numbers came from Asia and the Pacific, with an aggregate total of 18 million who rallied behind the MDG awareness campaign. In Asia and Pacific, India topped the race for the number of people at 9,731,983. Nepal came in second with 3,131,584 while the Philippines was third at 2,411,121. Other countries in Asia Pacific which participated included Bali, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Nepal, Republic of Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and others.

Topping the list for the top 10 organizations which had the most number of participants in the country was DepEd, Region 3-Central Luzon, with 1,772,202 participants, followed by Dep Ed Region 3-Bulacan, 358,300; DepEd Region 9-Davao, 220,568; DepEd Nueva Ecija, 190,470; DepEd Region 10-Davao Oriental, 83,191; Philippine UN White Helmets Commission and Association, 80,560; DepEd-Nueva Ecija (2nd report) with 43,717; DepEd Region -Dagupan with 29,313; DepEd Zambales with 25,582 and DepEd-Gapan City, 22,377.

The official counting in the Philippines was validated and officiated by representatives from the Sycip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. accounting firm, a UN partner for the Philippine campaign dubbed Tumayo Tayo Pilipinas. Details and photos of the campaign may be downloaded at

The Tumayo Tayo Pilipinas campaign aimed to raise awareness on the state of poverty in the country in the context of meeting the MDGs by 2015. The campaign also celebrated the significant local gains made for the achievement of the MDGs and called on duty-bearers to hurdle the complex challenges facing the country ahead.

In September 2000, 191 UN-member countries, rich and poor alike, reaffirmed their commitment to peace and security, good governance and attention to the most vulnerable with the adoption of the Millennium Declaration. Containing commitments to achieve the eight MDGs, the declaration reflects the vision of entire nations, working together with international and country-based organizations to wipe out poverty and the worst forms of human deprivation and lay the foundations for sustainable human development by 2015.

Tumayo Tayo Pilipinas featured a lead flag-raising ceremony integrating the Tumayo Tayo pledge, read in Filipino by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was organized by government officials led by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, National Anti-Poverty Commission, Office of the PA on Culture, Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the League of Municipalities, among others. Similar Tumayo Tayo moments were integrated in flag-raising ceremonies held at the Senate, Congress and Supreme Court, demonstrating the full participation of the legislative, executive and judiciary branches of government.

On center stage was the MDG Festival held in Marikina City, an MDG resource city. An MDG Rock Concert was held on Oct. 15 at Freedom Park in Marikina, followed by the Marikina City flag-raising Tumayo Tayo moment, partners exhibitions, social artistry programme showcase, the launch of the UN’s World Investment Report 2006, a Konsyertong Bayan Laban sa Kahirapan and the UNDP’s Galing Pook Special Citation on Local Capacity Innovations for the MDGs.

The UN’s various partners for the campaign staged their own events. In Baguio City, the Philippine Non-Government Organization Council had comedians, clowns and artists painting sad faces to get people to sign a petition condemning widespread poverty.

In Quezon City, the Global Call for Action Against Poverty, another UN partner for the campaign, formed a human chain, signifying unity against poverty. Other events were also held in Los Banos, Laguna, Pampanga, Eastern Samar, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and various parts of the country.