Governor Ben P.
Evardone said Executive Committee, during the planning period of the
foundation celebration activities made an inclusion of the forum on
environment particularly on climate change and maternal health as
these are critical issues that need to be addressed especially now
that the province is geared toward progress.
“When we talk about
climate change, we also talk about development, health and
population,” the provincial chief said in his message to the
participants of the congress.
The congress, attended
by people from Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population (PLCPD)
and PLAN Philippines, was also attended by Sanguniang Panlalawigan
members, Municipal Mayors, Vice Mayors and Councilors.
Ramon San Pascual,
Executive Director of PLCPD and an advocate of maternal health, said
that the province should give attention to this issue as most maternal
and even infant deaths occur on poor families. “Those who have no
means are the least attended in terms of health services,” San Pascual
According to San
Pascual, of the 3 million pregnancies, 1.4 million are unwanted or
unintended while 473,000 end up in abortion. Statistics also reveal
that 11 mothers die every day due to pregnancy. Gov. Evardone
reiterated that pregnancy is not sickness and therefore no mother
should die giving birth.
Tribunalo of Plan
conversant on climate change, challenged the participants to ensure
environment preservation. He elaborated that the globe’s environment
situation is degrading fast. “LGUs should have a foresight on
environmental effects before plunging onto development programs,” he
said. He stressed that the government should always include in its
plans a disaster risk reduction analysis.
Tribunalo said that
the series of disasters that hit the country recently are just
implications of a worsening environment condition of the planet.
PLCPD challenged the
local chief executives to rapidly mobilize resources and address
financial barriers especially among the poorest to improve maternal
health condition in the province. “We have substantially lowered
maternal deaths but infant mortality is still high in the province,”
Ruel Andag, UNFPA Provincial Programme Coordinator.
It also recommended
for LGUs to scale up quality health services, address urgent need for
skilled health workers, tackle root causes of maternal mortality and
morbidity and strengthen monitoring and evaluation.
Governor Evardone, in
response, said that despite the meager resources the provincial
government is making steps to address the immediate needs of the
provincial health workers. Recently, the governor ordered the release
of cash allowances to more than 3,000 barangay health workers pegged
at P1,200 each.
The province is also
fastracking health services upgrading including hospital development
projects out of the P500 million-grant from European Commission,
Department of Health (DOH) and other national government agencies.
meanwhile are asked to enact legislations that support women to make
their own family planning options and healthcare decisions for
SP Member Jovi
Opinion, in an interview, said that the provincial board has already
passed on its first reading an ordinance on safe motherhood and
neonatal care authored by SP Member Editha Sepulvida. “We are looking
forward to passing the said ordinance on its second and third reading
soon,” Opinion said.
SP Member Enerio
Sabulao, 3LPHED national president, revealed that the environmental
code of Eastern Samar has already been approved by the Sangunian.