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Latest News

For the second year in a row, the Philippines sent the loudest voice worldwide in calling for an end to extreme poverty, with 36.1 million Filipinos participating in various events during the three-day global Stand Up, Take Action Against Poverty campaign of the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) last Oct. 16 to 18.

The country first broke world record in having the most number of people taking action to end poverty last year when 35.2 million Filipinos took part in the annual event. As with this year’s numbers, this was validated by SGV & Co. Ernst and Young and registered in the Guinness World Records. The mobilization was organized globally by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, and locally organized by the United Nations system in the Philippines in partnership with a wide range of organizations such as the Department of Education (DepED), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), World Vision, Social Watch, Campaigns and Grey, and Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), to name a few.

The Stand Up, Take Action Against Poverty Campaign is a global mobilization of people to remind world leaders to deliver on their promise to end poverty by 2015 by achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This year, the Philippines adopted the theme Stand United, Fight Poverty to underscore the importance of working together to achieve a common goal.

The MDGs are a set of eight time-bound, concrete and specific targets aimed at significantly reducing, if not eradicating extreme poverty by 2015. While the Philippines is progressing well in its bid to achieve most of the MDGs, current trending shows that targets to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, improving maternal health and combating HIV and AIDS will least likely be achieved.

“Despite the typhoons that plagued the country just before Stand Up, the Philippine campaign managed to maintain its top spot in the Guinness World Record for having the largest number of people participating. This just proves to show the increasing clamor for the achievement of the MDGs. With only six years left to 2015, we have to do everything we can to make sure that every Filipino has a decent job, that every child goes to school and finishes at least elementary education, and that no mother dies while giving life and people no longer die of preventable diseases,” said Jacqui Badcock, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

To emphasize the importance of policy action to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs, this year’s Philippine campaign included the launch of “I Vote for MDG” campaign, which encourages voters to know their candidates in next year’s elections and support those who will have the MDGs as their platform of government. The campaign included a survey on the issues voters believe should be prioritized by the next batch of elected government leaders when they assume office in 2010. More than 14,000 Filipinos of voting age participated in the survey during the three-day Stand Upcampaign. .

UN Millennium Campaign Deputy Director for Asia Minar Pimple attributed the success of this year’s Philippine Stand Up campaign to the cooperation between the UN system, the government , civil society organizations, media, ordinary citizens, and the pioneering “I vote for MDG” campaign.

“Once again Philippines has the credit of largest single country mobilization in the world during Stand Up, with the innovative campaign giving a very clear follow up mechanism for the upcoming presidential elections. Without the combined efforts of UN system and the various Ministries of Government of Philippines supported by civil society organizations, it would not have been possible to repeat the feat,” Pimple said.

The global campaign also shattered a Guinness World Record, gathering 173,045,325 citizens at over 3,000 events in more than 120 countries. Now on its fourth year, Stand Up has been certified by Guinness World Records as the largest mobilization of human beings in recorded history, an increase of about 57 million people over last year.

In Asia, 101,106,845 people participated, 37,848,412 in Africa, 31,394,459 in the Arab region, 2,102,121 in Europe, 229,371 in Latin America, 191,535 in North America, and 172,582 in Oceania.

Salil Shetty, Director of the UNMC, observed that this year’s campaign was a success not only in terms of numbers but in generating greater impact, engaging communities, media and governments in this call to eradicate poverty and achieve the MDGs through policy change.

“Asia continued to be the biggest part of Stand Up by a large margin. Equally important, I think Stand Up was much better thought through in Asia this time, had greater grassroots engagement, better media impact, engaged Governments and Parliamentarians more systematically. I have just come from a great forum with the Presidential aspirants in Manila, which asked each of them what they would do if they became President, and this was on live telecast on many channels — quite amazing.” Shetty said.

Currently, one billion people around the world are hungry and 500,000 women continue to die annually due topreventable pregnancy and childbirth complications.