Integrated Gender and Development Division Officer in Charge, Lorna Mandin ( file photo)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Integrated Gender and Development Division of the city mayor’s office recorded 40 maternal deaths last year particularly in Barangay 23-C this city.

​IGDD said the barangay, along with adjacent Barangays 21, 22, and 23, chalked up 123 maternal deaths in 2015. The said barangays are among the most populous in the city.

Lorna Mandin, action officer of IGDD, said that even though it was not determined in their records the cause of the maternal deaths, they looked at an angle of overpopulation in Barangay 23-C.

“Even though there is a memorandum from the Department of Health that prohibits giving birth at home, for a number of reasons, mothers still give birth at their houses,” Mandin said.

“Most of them (mothers) received late referrals. They want to give birth at home but could not bear it,” Mandin added.

The IGDD noted that it was not only in Barangay 23-C that have high mortality rate for maternal deaths, but for the said barangay, it was the highest as most mothers were not covered by PhilHealth.

During the safety motherhood program, the IGDD explained to the mothers about family planning and what services they could avail from the government.

“The doctors encouraged the mothers to avail district health office’s free supplements,” Mandin said adding that these mothers should see doctors, nurses at least every three months.

Of the three barangays, Mandin said that only the Barangay 23-C only has an existing record related to maternal mortality  while Barangays 21 and 22 “have​ no longer recorded ​maternal mortality.”

She said Barangay 23-C would aim for zero maternal mortality for this year. The safety motherhood program is one of the programs of IGDD this Women’s Month celebration.

Aside from this, the IGDD is also giving lectures on women’s rights in different barangays in the city.

“Our office is busy to attend requests from other offices, outside Davao City, and speak about Women’s Month, economic empowerment, and even barangays,” Mandin said.

Mandin added that this year, the requests to their office to give lectures on women doubled compared the years 2014 and 2015.

“Maybe they saw that Davao is advanced in terms of gender program, maybe they want to learn from us,” she said.

Mandin said there were also visitors coming in the city,  benchmarking the local legislatives in relation to women and gender.

“At the same time, the number of agencies since 2014 and 2015, the number of request and visits were doubled and tripled since  (former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte) became the President,” Mandin said. (

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