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Friday, October 19, 2007

Advocates bring antipoverty campaign to BAGUIO

By Harley Palangchao, Correspondent

BAGUIO CITY: Local folksingers, with the special participation of a Bolivian artist, performed at the city’s public market and shared the humanitarian message of songs against poverty.

There was revelry in one of the most populated areas in Baguio when local folksingers from two bands—Binhi and Shakilan—joined other advocates in a concert in line with the global “Stand Up Against Poverty” campaign.

The campaign was held at the city market, particularly at the vegetable section, purportedly to stir awareness on the need for people, especially those in the grassroots level.

More importantly, the campaign is in support of the call for all governments to make good their pledge to help attain millennium development goals, particularly that of poverty reduction.

Millions of Filipinos have participated in this campaign initiated by the United Nations and billed as “Stand Up Against Poverty”, which is also in support of millions of Filipino families living below the poverty threshold.

In the Cordillera region alone, an estimated 440,000 people are in the threshold of poverty, which is why the Regional Development Council is urged to focus more on antipoverty programs and projects.

“Stand Up Against Poverty,” the global campaign in 2006 organized by the UN Millennium campaign holds the record title in the Guinness Book of World Records for 24 million people in 87 countries standing up against poverty in 24 hours from October 15 to 16, 2006. Some 2.4 million Filipinos counted among those who participated in the said campaign.

The Philippines is one of the 191 states that signed the Millennium Declaration, which embodies commitments to achieve the millennium development goals—a set of time-bound and measurable targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation and discrimination by 2015.

These goals include eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; intention to achieve universal primary education; promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women; reduction of child mortality; improvement of maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability and; to develop a global partnership for development