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[December 2006]

The Philippines consists of 7000 islands and 100+ tribes. But only few of us know that indigenous people comprise over 38% of the population. Many of them live in far remote areas in the mountains or jungles, with a very limited access to basic services such as health and education. In a village outside of Davao, there are quite a few women who die on their way to deliver their babies in the nearest clinic that's 16km away. In school, children are taught in English and Tagalog, neither of which children ever use outside the school, leaving many of them illiterate. The pictures were taken in the mountaineous areas of Davao City (source: City Government). Many children of farmers need to help their parents throughout the year, and the drop-out rates at elementary schools in the area is as high as 60%.

Classes taught in alien languages and low education attainment, poverty and child labor, limited medical services and high infant mortality rate... It may be in these areas where the Central Government's supervision is not existent that lie responsibilities of international organizations like us UNICEF and our partners.