Telcos cut SMS fee for citizen feedback initiative

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[/caption] Globe, Smart Communications, and Sun Cellular, agreed to charge a reduced rate of P1.00 per SMS report sent to the special number 2015, instead of the standard P2.50 per text. ?Tingog? is a Bicolano and Cebuano word for ?voice.? Tingog 2015 has been piloted in Tabaco City, Albay, enabling citizens to make their voices heard on issues such as maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition services using the short code 2015. ?Achieving the MDGs not only requires strong leadership and political will; more importantly, it requires citizen commitment and action. When people are involved, we empower them to use their collective voices for development and progress, and build a community united toward a shared goal,? said Tabaco City mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro. Using the Tingog 2015 platform, citizens of Tabaco can now report on, monitor, and send feedback on public health services, including the expanded program on immunization, maternal health, reproductive health, medical consultation, tuberculosis, and nutrition. In the Philippines, the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel remains short of the 100-percent target, achieving slow progress from 58.8 in 1990 to 74.3 in 2009. Data from the National Statistical Coordination Board show that national maternal mortality ratio (MMR) per 100,000 live births increased to 221 from 95 in 2010 and 97 in 2011. Data from Tabaco City?s community-based monitoring system (CBMS) indicate a decrease in the proportion of children aged 0-5 who died and proportion of women who died due to pregnancy related causes, from 0.4 in 2008 to 0.3 and 0.2 in 2010, respectively. “We must bear in mind that MDG commitments can be fulfilled only when they reach the poorest and those most in need,? said Minar Pimple, regional director for Asia and Pacific of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, the organization supporting Tingog 2015. ?This citizen feedback initiative is key to ensuring transparency and accountability in the achievement of the MDGs. It empowers citizens to hold their governments to account for the delivery of basic social services.?]]>

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