April 27, 2022 – The Philippine government remains committed to accelerating inclusive economic growth aided by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action, the National Economic and Development Authority said.

During the opening of the 55th Session of the Commission on Population and Development in New York on Monday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua shared the Philippines’ progress in achieving the goals of the ICPD.

Among the accomplishments that Chua cited was the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, which granted universal access to nearly all modern contraceptives at government health centers and helped improve the use of modern contraception among married women from 37.6 percent in 2013 to 40.4 percent in 2017.

Chua also cited the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 which will enable better social and economic outcomes for the youth, and the Universal Health Care Act which expanded healthcare access and coverage for all Filipinos.

“All of these have contributed to significant poverty reduction. In 2018, poverty incidence fell by almost 7 percentage points, the biggest decline in our history, or from 23.5 percent in 2015 to 16.7 percent in 2018, lifting six million Filipinos out of poverty four years ahead of the target schedule of 2022,” Chua said.

Emphasizing progress in the Philippine Identification System, Chua maintained that the Philippine government did not waver in its goal to build a stronger and more inclusive society even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“From October 2020 to April 2022, we have registered over 62 million Filipinos to the national ID and facilitated over 7.7 million bank account applications for low-income individuals. This will transform how we deliver social assistance and financial inclusion and help lift more Filipinos out of poverty,” he said.

Chua also highlighted the Philippines’ economic recovery and the four pillars to accelerate the country’s growth.

“After a temporary decline in 2020, the Philippine economy took a positive turn in 2021 and grew by 5.7 percent, exceeding market expectations. […] As we move forward from this crisis, we need to put the poor and vulnerable more at the center of our development strategies. In the succeeding Philippine Development Plan, we intend to prioritize smart infrastructure, regional equity, innovation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation as the four pillars to help us achieve rapid and more inclusive growth,” he added.

To close, Chua called for stronger regional cooperation and invited everyone to work towards inclusive growth.

“While progress is evident, we need to do more to create change that is truly transformative. To this end, strengthening regional cooperation is crucial. Together, let us work towards ensuring equal opportunities for all,” he said.

The 55th Session of the Commission on Population and Development will be held from April 25 to 29, 2022. To learn more, visit its event webpage at https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/events/CPD55

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