The program uses the convergence strategy to create synergy in addressing poverty in Concepcion, a 4th class municipality comprised of 16 islands. Among the factors that aggravate poverty are depleted coastal resources, high population growth, and poor quality of basic education. The program started in August 1999, in partnership with civil society and other stakeholders. The target is zero poverty in year 2020.
The program uses minimum basic needs (MBN) data, community mobilization, people’s participation, and alliance building as tools to promote its initiatives on: (i) human resources development, (ii) enterprise development and livelihood enhancement, (iii) resource management, (iv) health, (v) education, and (vi) infrastructure development.
Since the program, it had established 5 new barangay health stations with midwives, 9 health facilities, 8 primary schools, and 28 new day care centers.
Most important, it had reduced poverty incidence in the municipality from 87% in 2001 to 47% in 2003, had enrolled 1,200 indigent families in Philhealth insurance, and had achieved maternal mortality rate in 2003.
Concepcion had earned various recognitions, among them as most child-friendly municipality (4th to 6th class category) in Region 6 for three years, second most child-friendly municipality in the country (2003), best implementer of anti-poverty programs of the Department of Social Works and Development, most outstanding municipality in nutrition program implementation, most outstanding municipal peace and order council of Region 6, and others.
Many of its programs are replicated in other municipalities. Concepcion serves as a learning site for both local and foreign study groups on good governance. Mayor Raul N. Banias, a medical practitioner before he joined politics, and his key staff are often invited in meetings and seminars to speak about their best practices.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 2004 Galing Pook Awards.