Numbers speak volumes about the success story of this third-class municipality in Davao del Sur.
From 1999 to 2003, Malalag realized savings of more than P1.5 million out of re-channeling its mortuary aid, providing health insurance and Social Security System coverage to poor residents, and other projects.
Numbers also play a significant role in improving the quality of life of people in Malalag by allowing the municipal government to maximize its meager resources.
The strategy is simple: Malalag conducts regular surveys to determine the minimum basic needs (MBN) of its constituents. These social indicators are culled and become the framework for the municipal government’s Social Reform Agenda.
Unlike many local government units already adopting the MBN approach to alleviate poverty, however, one thing distinguishes Malalag. While other LGUs struggle to meet all 33 social indicators under the MBN approach, Malalag has added 16 more indicators to measure the impact and effectiveness of the program on people’s behaviors and attitudes.
Using health indicators made it easier for health personnel to find out who among the families have needs that have remained unmet. Maternal and childcare have remarkably improved since the program started in 1997. The number of children not fully immunized was reduced to 30 in 2002 from 505 in 1998. Cases of malnutrition also dramatically plunged to 30 in 2002 from 453 in 1998. Closer monitoring of pregnant and lactating mothers have totally eliminated the death and birth of malnourished children from 296 cases in 1998.
To maintain peace and order, barangay officials keep and update profiles of residents per purok. The practice helps them keep a close watch on strangers in the community, or rebel groups who could encroach and recruit people in the area.
As part of the strategy, the municipal government created Integrated Resource Management Teams to push service delivery. Government agencies, non-government and foreign organizations have also been tapped for funding assistance.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 2003 Galing Pook Awards.