Koronadal City, South Cotabato (NEDA 12) – The City of Koronadal and the Municipality of Polomolok of South Cotabato were declared by the Regional Board of Judges (RBOJ) as regional winners for the City and Municipality categories, respectively, of the 2014 Rafael M. Salas Population and Development Award (RMSPDA).
The two Local Government Units (LGUs) would be Region XII’s entries to the national level judging.
They bested the other four (4) LGU contenders, two for each category, namely: a) Cities of Kidapawan and General Santos for the City category, and b) Municipalities of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat and Tupi, South Cotabato, for the Municipality category.
The regional winners for each category will receive cash prizes of P50,000 each, while plaques of recognition will be awarded to the other regional nominees by the Commission on Population (POPCOM) during the regional awarding ceremonies in July 2015.
The top six (6) regional nominees were evaluated and ranked by the RBOJ based on their ratings on selected indicators in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Health (DOH) scorecard, as well as on PopDev core elements. A field visit to the six LGUs was also made to validate their respective scores.
Thereafter, the scores or accomplishments of the six regional nominees were subjected to the following criteria: a) Health Management Elements (40%), which include governance on health and health financing, access to programs, services and facilities, and performance monitoring; and, b) Population and Development Elements (60%).
The RMSPDA was first launched by POPCOM in 1989, and has been done every other year, to perpetuate the legacy and important contributions of Rafael M. Salas in the field of population and development.
The biennial RMSPDA is designed to honor individuals, institutions, local government units or local chief executives for their outstanding contributions in the field of population and development.
The award also aims to heighten support and participation among government, non-government officials, individuals, or institutions in the implementation of the population management programs. The biennial award focuses on specific category or theme.
For this year, the RMS PopDev Award will be conferred to a Local Government Unit (city and municipality) that showcased outstanding PopDev-oriented programs and projects or innovations.
The RBOJ of Region XII is composed of representatives from five (5) agencies namely: DOH, DILG, NEDA, PhilHealth and POPCOM, with DOH XII Assistant Regional Director Francisco Mateo, as Chair.
At the national level, the NBOJ will choose the top three (3) cities and top three (3) municipalities from among all the regional entries and will conduct field visit and validation only for the chosen six national nominees.
The national level grand winners for each category will receive P200,000 each, while the 2nd and 3rd place awardees will each receive P150,000 and P100,000, respectively, for each category. The RMSPDA National Awarding ceremonies is scheduled on August 6, 2015.
Atty. Rafael M. Salas, who hailed from Negros Occidental, was the first Executive Director and founder of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that was established in 1969 in New York. He died in 1987 at the age of 59 due to heart attack in Washington, DC.
He was best remembered for his trailblazing work, earning him the title “Mr. Population” from the international community.
He was considered as the founder of the holistic population management program for the whole world that was accepted in all countries that profess to Christianity and even Islam.
He continuously called for urgent government action among countries. “A population policy is a long-range strategic weapon,” he said in one of his messages in 1980. “Its effects are felt not immediately but a generation hence. Thus, to be effective, it must be launched now.” (Eden F. Ridao/DRD-NEDA12)