June 4, 2019

BANGKOK – The National Economic and Development Authority highlighted the progress of the Philippines in achieving three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through strong partnerships with the business sector, civil society, and the international community.

In a statement before the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia reported how the government is employing a multi sectoral approach in working towards the SDGs.

He zeroed in on the SDGs that promote inclusivity and equality—Goal No. 4 (Quality Education), Goal No. 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and Goal No. 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

“The massive resource requirements to meet the ambitious agenda of the SDGs require inclusion and engagement of all stakeholders, and we acknowledge that meeting our development commitments requires nothing short of a whole-of-society approach and determination. Partnerships are vital and fundamental to achieving the SDGs and our national development goals,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told the UNESCAP.

Pernia delivered the Philippine country statement and headed the Philippine delegation during the 75th Session of the UNESCAP in Bangkok, Thailand last May 27 and 28.

Citing the Conditional Cash Transfer Program, one of the many social programs of the government, Pernia noted that the government is tapping both private and non-government organizations to provide alternative modes of education—through the Alternative Learning System—to beneficiaries.

He also mentioned the recently passed Expanded Maternity Leave Act that increases maternity leave benefits from 60 to 105 days. “We are counting on private companies to implement non-discrimination laws such as this, and to ensure that women receive equal opportunities in the workplace.”

Furthermore, Pernia said that several businesses are actively creating opportunities for the poor and marginalized to participate in the production value chain. “We appreciate such initiatives from the private sector because inclusive development is a product of inclusive and sustainable business practices.,” he said.

Pernia likewise highlighted the National Spatial Strategy, which was designed during the start of the administration to tackle spatial and socioeconomic inequalities by linking lagging regions with leading ones.

“Transport infrastructure will create more opportunities for production, employment, and livelihood in regions outside of urban centers like Metro Manila. Improving regional connectivity requires channeling not just domestic—both public and private—resources, but international funds as well. This highlights the need to engage the whole of society, not just government, in ensuring equitable growth,” he said.

The Philippine delegation was composed of representatives from the Department of Finance, Commission on Population and Development, Philippine Statistics Authority, Department of Agriculture, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Department of Science and Technology.