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Partnerships for Poverty Alleviation in Cebu City

Keyword: Poverty Eradication


The City Government initiated the Cebu Urban Basic Services Programme in 1988 with the support of UNICEF, the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor and the cooperation of several national government agency programmes as well local and national NGOs. The programme was expanded to address land tenure and housing improvement by the development of the Community Mortgage Programme in 1990. The establishment of the Local Government Code in 1992 greatly increased the autonomy and authority of city government and lays the foundation for institutionalization and replication of the Cebu poverty alleviation policies and programmes in other cities.


The City Government of Cebu, under the dynamic leadership of Mayor Tomas Osmena, has brought about a major transformation in city governance as it relates to and serves urban poor communities. Through a transformation in the philosophy, structures, policies and practices of the local government, an enabling partnerships has beenf orged among city government departments, community-based organizations, non-government or civil society organizations and the private sector. This partnership, facilitated by the Urban Basic Services Programme has been particularly effective ina ddressing the multiple aspects of urban poverty through, improving coverage, quality and participation of the poor in basic health, education and social services, expanding social welfare and vocational training programmes of the city, extending credit to informal sector and urban poor groups, through cooperation with private businesses, improvinghousing and land tenture security through the Community Mortgage Programme and support to NGOs and community-based housing associations; and special services for street children, single mothers, the disabled and destitute. Coordination of such a complex set of partnerships required the creation of a number of bodies and mechanisms such as: The Cebu Commission on the Urban Poor representing all the different groups. Despite the complexity of these inter-linked coordinating bodies, the system has a simple interface with the public. A telephone call to anyone of the service departments is referred to the appropriate person in that or any other service department of the city.


Urban Basic Services Programme implemented in 26 urban poor barangays

Proportion of fully immunized children with the recommended four antigens (BCG, polio, measles and DPT) increased from 52.1 percent in 1989 to 92.1 percent in 1994

Infant mortality rate declines from 34.2 percent per 1000 live births in 1989 to 20.3 in 1994

Maternal death showed a decreasing trend from 0.8 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 0.6 in 1994

Percentage of severely and moderately malnourished pre-schoolers dropped from 16.5 in 1989 to 9.9 in 1994

13 Governmental Organizations, 26 Non Governmental Organizations, and 26 area task forces involved in partnership

Agencies involved in the Cebu City Task Force on Street Children increased from 4 in 1990 to 21 in 1994

Cebu City Hillyland Resources Management and Development Commission covers 19 barangays with 2,657 project adopters representing 39.2 percent of the entire jurisdiction of the hillyland barangagys in Cebu City

Community organizing results in creation of 13 barangay development councils, 13 water users groups, 9 multi-purpose cooperatives, 3 credit cooperatives, and five consumers/credit/production cooperatives in the hillyland


Structurally, new sections/offices have been created a the City Government such as the women's desk and the child and youth section at every police station.

Two legislative reforms are noteworthy. City Ordinance 1344 prescribes the use of a trust fund generated from the sale of City-owned lots exclusively for shelter and its related expenditures. The participation of vendors' associations in market management is recognized by the Revised Market Code.

To eliminate if not minimize red tape and other dysfunctions that hamper delivery of quality services, systems reviews are conducted periodically by instituting the Systems and Procedures Rationalization in Government (SPRING). The latest management innovation is the grouping of departments and offices into four clusters namely, public service, support services, revenue generation and planning and regulation to fast track service delivery.

A major transformation taking place at the clients' level is the capacitation of the barangays and grassroots organizations to take an active role in development projects. Through community organizing, consultative meetings, assemblies, training and assessment sessions, barangay officials, farmers, women, youth, vendors' associations, area task forces, barangay police and community based street educators participate actively in project planning, implementation and monitoring.

At the cooperating agencies level, various schemes are adopted to give substance to partnerships in accordance with the Local Government Code. The most common is the special project contractual type of arrangement. For instance, Pagtambayayong supervises the implementation of the Community Mortgage Programme, the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation provides emergency medical services through a subsidy from the City, and the Cebu People's Multi-Purpose Cooperative services the needs of micro enterprises.


    Dr. Tomas Fernandez , City Health Coordr
    74426/Fax: 633285258


    City Government of Cebu City, Philippines
    Mayor Tomas Osmena
    Fax: 63 32 52991


    Urban Basic Services Program
    Teresa B. Fernandez, Executive Director

    Lihok Pilipuna Foundation
    Ms. Rosemary Husin
    Unicef Philippines
    Fax: 63 2 8101453

    Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor
    Mr. Kevin McGrath, Resident Representate
    Fax: 632 8164061\ 8128629

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